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AFSCME Retirees Form Human Chains to Protest Devastating Cuts

By Karen Gilgoff

Photo: AFSCME retirees in human chain

Across the country in July, AFSCME Retirees and our allies rallied against a congressional proposal to cut Social Security cost of living adjustments (COLAs). Retirees formed human chains, at events sponsored by the labor-backed Alliance for Retired Americans, protesting a new method of determining annual inflation, known as “chained CPI.” 

If enacted, the new formula would mean retirees lose more than $8,000 in benefits by age 80. To protest, retirees, workers and disability activists linked arms and
encircled government buildings to form “human chains against the chained CPI.”

According to AFSCME Retiree Barbara Franklin, president of the Illinois Alliance for Retired Americans, seniors have an average income of only $22,000 a year and need full COLAs for basic necessities.

“We’re outraged that our lawmakers would even consider this,” said North Carolina ARA Pres. Jim Moore, another AFSCME Retiree leader.  Moore’s members helped convince his state’s Sen. Kay Hagan to co-sponsor a bill rejecting the diminished COLAs.

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