The IAM recently welcomed to headquarters a key group of bankruptcy experts, attorneys and representatives from the AFL-CIO, the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) and the State University of New York (SUNY).
The group plans to examine bankruptcy as it pertains to pensions and collective bargaining agreements for a series of educational videos that will form the basis of a two-day training program and a full-semester master’s degree program at SUNY. The videos will examine the early warning signs of a looming bankruptcy filing, how to prepare and what to expect at each phase of the process.
“Bankruptcy is no longer just a way for financially troubled companies to restructure,” said IAM General Secretary-Treasurer Robert Roach, Jr., who has dealt with multiple companies seeking to reap the benefit of bankruptcy during his 38-year career. “Corporate bankruptcy is now a means of stripping union members of their hard-earned benefits. It’s fast moving and it can be deadly.”
“We in the labor movement must begin now to educate ourselves and each other on the bankruptcy process,” said Roach. “It’s imperative to have a team and plan of action in place before a company files. Unlike other forms of litigation, the bankruptcy process can move fast from Day One.”