Teamsters negotiate an area-wide pension plan for brewery workers, the first of its kind in the nation, on April 28, 1955.

  • By Alan J. Stein
  • Posted 6/29/2005
  • Essay 7360
On April 28, 1955, the Teamsters Union signs a contract with brewery owners giving brewery workers in the Pacific Northwest a pension plan. This is the first area-wide plan in the nation and is the forerunner of similar pension plans throughout the United States.

The plan covered 3,000 workers in Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana, and Alaska, and provided workers at retirement with a maximum pension of $75 a month. Employers paid in 10 cents an hour for each worker to build annuity reserves for the first two years. The first pensions were payable in 1957. Eligibility was based on years of service.

At the time of the contract signing, other programs were being set up in all Western states. The plans were administered from the Seattle offices of the Teamsters Union, and were intended to supplement federal social security.

Sources: "New Pension Won by Teamsters to have Nation-Wide Impact," The Seattle Times, April 29, 1955, p. 1.

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