Teamsters expand pipeline strike to California
January 11, 2012
• Began in Pennsylvania and West Virginia
• Issue is pensions
The Teamsters Union says its members who are pipeline construction workers in California went on strike Wednesday, protesting what the unin calls and attack on retirement benefits.
It is an expansion of a national strike against the Pipe Line Contractors Association that began on Jan. 1 in Pennsylvania and West Virginia.
The Teamsters did not immediately respond to a request for the locations of the California labor stoppages.
The union says the employers are trying to force unionized workers into a 401(k) savings plan and eliminate all traditional defined benefit pensions.
“It’s extremely difficult to find common ground at the negotiating table when the other side won’t stand by its own proposals,” says Teamsters General President Jim Hoffa. “No one profits from this dispute continuing except the PLCA’s attorneys.”
Not so, say the contractors' association. It says its offer for a pension plan would be a defined benefit plan that would reduce stock market risks.