AFL-CIO: Give Enron Workers Severance

February 28, 2002 ( - The AFL-CIO weighed into the Enron scandal with a promise that the union group would help seek severance pay for former employees of the one-time giant energy trader.

At a meeting of the group’s Executive Committee in New Orleans, AFL-CIO officials called on President Bush and Congress to protect workers’ retirement savings and to make corporate officials more accountable.

The group voted to:

  • support changes in the US bankruptcy law that would give workers’ back pay and benefits claims equal footing with claims from other creditors,
  • “aggressively promote” the advantages of traditional defined benefit pension plans which the union group claimed was the safest way for workers to accumulate retirement assets

Since its financial collapse last year, Enron has been the target of numerous shareholder lawsuits over the handling of its 401(k) plan – particularly company stock investments.

Numerous Congressional committees are also investigating the company’s demise while a flock of lawmakers have announced pension-reform proposals.