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Gerald-Esquire, Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 3987
Experience:  30 years of experience
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I'm not sure how common my situation is but having worked 16

Customer Question

Hello, I'm Robert.
I'm not sure how common my situation is but having worked 16 years at one company, 8 with a union (SEIU) that got in back in 2007 our past two contract had no pension plan which is almost un comprehensible too me. At the present our contract expires on 12-16 -15. They are trying to negotiate one in this time. Now here's the bad news -- I'm 67 and retiring in April The union told me that even if there is a pension clause I'm not eligible to get a pension since they either can't or won't grandfather any of my past continuous employment spanning 16 years. I would have to wait 5 more years to be vested and then work an additional dozen or more years to accumulate what would be needed for a survivable income. I argued, you mean that you can't grandfather in any time and reminded them that I was the one who organized the drive to get you in here and they had always remarked that without me, the union effort would have failed. But they replied, sorry we can't do anything for you. I stood stunned and speechless. Being a shop steward who has received awards from the union this isn't fair since they waited until I'm ready to retire in trying to and get a pension clause in the new contract. if the effort fails then that's the end of it. However if they get a pension clause in do I have any legal recourse?
Thank you.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  Gerald-Esquire replied 1 year ago.


Thank you for using Just Answer. I want to provide you the best service I can. Please feel free to ask any follow up questions you have.

I am an attorney with 30 years of experience; I hope to provide you information that will help you in resolving your question.

I'm very sorry that this is happening to you. I also hate being the bearer of bad news, but whether or not you are covered by a pension depends entirely on the contract that the Union negotiates with your employer. There is no law that requires that such contracts include grandfather clauses. It sounds like the Union has no interest in negotiating a grandfather clause. And there is no way to force them to do so through the courts. It is up to the membership to vote to adopt the contract the Union negotiates. If most of the membership are younget they likely willhave little interest in voting down a contract because it does not help some of the older members such as yourself.

I truly wish I had better news for you or an alternative route for you to take. I would not want to mislead you into expending time and money for a cause with no likelihood of success. Still you may want to take the meeting with the UNion VP to discuss your situation. Perhaps you can leverage that meeting into networking into the Union in some other way that might be advantageous to you. In any event the meeting can not hurt you.

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Good luck,

Please note: Information given is not legal advice. Only your local attorney can give legal advice. I can't establish or accept an attorney-client relationship with you. All posts are available for public viewing.