Signature gatherers duel over Riordan pension initiative Union backers work to dissuade voters as petition workers gather signatures for an initiative to switch new city employees into 401(k)-type retirement plans.
Riordan is in the midst of gathering about 265,000 signatures to qualify a pension initiative for the May mayoral election. Changes are needed because pension costs are projected to continue rising even with recent changes made to retirement benefits by the City Council, Riordan has said.
The city faces a $216-million budget shortfall next year, due in part to ever-increasing pension costs, city budget managers say. Union leaders say starting a 401(k)-like plan would cost the city even more, at least initially.
Saturday was the kickoff of organized labor's attempt to derail the former mayor and multimillionaire businessman's initiative drive. After a morning rally, about 100 city union members fanned out to 7-Elevens, supermarkets and strip malls across Los Angeles to persuade voters not to sign Riordan's petition.
"When there's trash to be picked up, who comes to your house to do it? Even on the day after Christmas?" asked Aurora Wynnz, a community activist whom everyone calls "McGee." "They don't get Social Security. And Riordan wants them all to get 401(k)s. How has that worked out for you?"
They just don't quit. Won't this be illegal if the city isn't paying in to Social Security? I thought the only way governments got out of paying Social Security was by offering secured pensions. Wonder if Riordan is getting a pension?