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Thousands Rally in Ohio for Solution to Pension Crisis

Thousands Rally In Ohio For Solution To Pension Crisis

By JULIE CARR SMYTH, Associated Press

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — The house. Food on the table. Survival.

Those are some of the ways workers and retirees who demonstrated in Ohio‘s capital Thursday described the pension payments they are fighting to protect.

“It’s everything, mostly, because you worked all of them years,” said Duane Ross, 61, of Cadiz, who spent 30 years in the mines.

Ross was among thousands of unionized coal miners, iron workers, teamsters, bakers, tobacco workers, millers and others who descended on the Ohio Statehouse to rally ahead of a congressional field hearing in Columbus. They brandished signs saying “Save Our Pensions” and wore T-shirts that reminded politicians, “We Are Everywhere.”

At issue are the financial effects on retirees, workers, small businesses and taxpayers of the potential failure of pension plans guaranteed by the federal government.

“We’re not asking for a handout from the government. We’re asking for a loan,” said retiree Al Hall, 78, who rode in overnight by bus from Illinois. “They bailed out all of the other companies. They should bail us out, too.”

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