The WFTU TUI for Pensioners and Retirees, present on 5 continents will be having our 3rd Congress in Athens Greece, April, 2024. This was a recent preparatory meeting of the leadership.

"The International corporate attack group, the IMF, has been demanding reduction in benefits to retirees across the Board, in all European and IMF Subjegated countries, but especially in Argentina. (See Marcos Wolman's angry comments.)

These comments below are a brief snap shot of the attacks in the US, lead by the right wing Republicans but followed by too many Corporate Democrats.

Be well,

In Solidarity,

Joseph Hancock, for the LTI Collective


When it comes to older workers in the United States, they live on the edge of the abyss in the land of plenty. Neoliberalism is privatizing all government services into corporate profit centers. The richest country in the world spends all its resources on war and imperialist adventures. Through Fiscal Year 2022, the United States federal government has spent and obligated $8 trillion dollars on the post-9/11 wars in Afghanistan, Ukraine, Iraq and elsewhere. This figure includes: direct Congressional war appropriations; war-related increases to the Pentagon base budget; veterans care and disability; increases in the homeland security budget; interest payments on direct war borrowing; foreign assistance spending; and estimated future obligations for veterans’ care. THE CURRENT US initiated imperialist WAR IN UKRAINE, which is a proxy war against Russia and building the war machine of NATO that is draining European socioeconomic monies; and the encirclement of China must be actively opposed.
This total omits many other expenses, such as the macroeconomic costs to the US economy; the opportunity costs of not investing war dollars in alternative sectors; future interest on war borrowing; and local government and private war costs.
This total represents the U.S. foreign policy pivot against China and Russia. The U.S. empire cannot care for its people because it spends more than $8 trillion on war and preparations for war.
Nowhere in our culture is there any room for compassion and care for older workers or anyone else.
Seniors die prematurely, while the government attempts to raise the retirement age to 70 years. Our pensioners must live on reduced Social Security benefits and private retirement schemes known as 401(k). We pay for our own retirement under this scheme. Social Security was never meant to replace pensions. The trade unions negotiated pension plans were necessary given the low wage benefits of federal social security. And now they are under sharp attack. Many times, seniors must manage on Social Security alone, and incomplete medical insurance known as Medicare, which only pays 80% of the total for most services. The situation is that most seniors live in extreme poverty and a forced to choose between eating proper nutritional meals and taking their prescribed lifesaving medicine.
It is the responsibility of the trade union movement to not only build an economic and social program based on peace. We need to call for closure of all 800 U.S. military bases abroad and reductions to the military budget of no less than 25% to provide funding for a secure retirement in old age. When we raise the issue of October 1st, we need to call for cuts in military spending and a return to civilization. Our mission to fight for secure retirement must begin with the fight for peace and anti-imperialism. A united international pension and retiree Movement; South and Central America, Europe, Africa, Middle East, Asia; under the WFTU IS GROWING which we in the US strongly support.

Our propaganda must reflect this. We often say what we need but don’t provide the infrastructure to achieve our goals. This is the lesson from Italy where the USB is in a constant fight against warmongering of their President Giorgia Meloni. Huge demonstrations are taking place involving 10,000 workers, protesting the arms race and reductions in social spending. We need to organize the trade union movement in this country as we did in the 1980’s with the program of the International Association of Machinists (IAM). We need to pass a second “Let’s Rebuild America” Act and orient the retiree organizations to support it.
There are proposals to improve Social Security. One is called “Scrap the Cap” because we are calling on the government to remove the income cap on Social Security taxes. Currently when a taxpayer reaches the $160,200 threshold, they no longer pay into the Social Security System. Also, the United States is one of the few industrialized nations without a National Health System for its people. Seniors pay all these costs and die in poverty, all for the sake of the war machine. This will require a change in ideology away from capitalism and war. We don’t have all the answers, but we have a roadmap to follow.
LTI is beginning a peace initiative where our coverage will include actions of the U.S. Peace movement. Our analysis is that peace is a trade union issue, and the unions have the resources to mount an effective campaign. We expect open hostility from the leaders of the AFL-CIO but we believe that this message of peace will resonate with the working class.