We at the Pension Rights Center extend our deepest sympathies to the family of Butch Lewis who passed away on December 31, 2015. Butch, of Cincinnati, Ohio, fought alongside the Pension Rights Center and tens of thousands of retired Teamsters to stop the life-changing pension cuts made possible by the Multiemployer Pension Reform Act of 2014 (MPRA).
Butch, a Vietnam veteran and former president of Teamsters Local 100 in Cincinnati, was a retiree in the Central States Pension Fund, the first pension plan to announce that it would use MPRA to cut retiree pensions by as much as 60 percent. Like hundreds of thousands of other Central States Pension Fund retirees, a pension cut of this magnitude would have had a profound impact on his retirement.
Determined to stop the cuts from happening, Butch sprang to action. He helped organize retirees in Ohio to protest the cuts. Butch also travelled to Washington, DC, multiple times to protest the Multiemployer Pension Reform Act of 2014. He participated in a June, 2015 press conference announcing the introduction of the Keep Our Pension Promises Act, a bill that would repeal the provisions of MPRA allowing pension cuts. Butch visited DC twice more to participate in two more Treasury Department hearings. During his visits to Washington, DC, Butch frequently made the time to visit his members of Congress, asking them to save his pension by repealing the provisions of the Multiemployer Pension Reform Act allowing the cuts.
Butch was truly a magnificent man – kind, smart and passionate. He gave so much of himself to stop the cuts that would affect him, his lovely wife Rita, and countless other hard-working retired truck drivers across the country. He was a dedicated activist and will be sorely missed. To learn more about Butch, read his obituary here and this Cincinnati Enquirer profile.
The Pension Rights Center is honored that Butch’s family has asked that contributions be made to PRC in his memory. The Pension Rights Center will continue its work to stop the pension cuts made possible by the Multiemployer Pension Reform Act of 2014, and find a real, workable solution to the problem of underfunded multiemployer plans.