Undoubtably, the issue that has aroused the most concern among our members is the termination of the pension plan. We have heard rumors ranging from payout of pennies on the dollar to no payout at all. We are told that our pension monies are reasonably protected. Payout will be determined by actuarial reviews done on the plan's benefit worth conducted by an independent firm. If necessary, the Union has the right to challenge those findings. It is our understanding that the annuity option typically results in benefits paid close to the level that would have been paid had the plan not terminated. The lump sum payout is less certain but we understand there is not a great loss with this option, either. There are no guarantees but this is the best estimation at this time.
The negotiating committee recognizes how difficult this period has been for our members. We assure you, we will endeavor to improve the company's final offer.