PHILADELPHIA, PA-- New Mexico Governor and Democratic Presidential candidate Bill Richardson today released the following statement in support of Congressman John Conyers' announcement that he will introduce a bill to protect workers' pensions and benefits in corporate bankruptcies:
"I applaud the efforts of my friend Congressman Conyers on behalf of working Americans, as well as the vital work done on this issue by the AFL-CIO and other unions. Protecting pensions and benefits is essential to the economic security of our workers and our nation.
"We need to reform bankruptcy laws to require large corporations to honor pension obligations to their employees. Workers who lose their retirement funds in Enron-style collapses should go to the front of the line in bankruptcy. Too often companies siphon away money from their bankrupt divisions into healthier ones and then claim to have no money left to pay for the health and retirement benefits of the bankrupt division’s employees. That is an outrage. When I am President, I will not tolerate loopholes that allow companies to defraud their workers.
"We need a President who will fight for working Americans. When I am in the White House, my Secretary of Labor will be a union member, and workers will be guaranteed the rights and benefits that they have earned."