Frist, Alexander, Jenkins Comment on Army Decision to Fund Holston Defense Retiree Benefits

Posted on October 3, 2006

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Matt Lehigh (Frist) (202) 224-8066 October 3, 2006 Harvey Valentine (Alexander) (202) 224-8816 Richard Vaughn (Jenkins) (202) 225-6356 FRIST, ALEXANDER, JENKINS COMMENT ON ARMY DECISION TO FUND HOLSTON DEFENSE RETIREE BENEFITS WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senators Bill Frist (R-Tenn.) and Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) and U.S. Rep. Bill Jenkins (R-Tenn.) today made the following statements after the Army Contract Adjustment Board’s (ACAB) announced its decision to recommend $90 million, plus a 5.25 percent adjustment for lost investment return, to fund Holston Defense Corporation retiree benefits: “Holston’s retirees earned these benefits through years of hard work. We’ve fought tirelessly for this funding over the last two years, and I’m pleased the Army made the correct decision,” Frist said. “The Army is doing the right thing in making sure that nearly 2,000 Tennessee retirees receive the benefits they earned. We’ve been working on this for a long time, and I’m glad the Army has finally reached a decision to fund these benefits,” Alexander said. "This decision is long overdue, and I am pleased that the Army has listened to voices of reason and moved to maintain the benefits that retired workers of Holston have earned. The retirees have been unfairly sitting on pins and needles for months now, and I'm pleased that work done by Eastman/Holston Defense Corporation and my colleagues in the House and Senate has finally reached a favorable conclusion," Jenkins added. Frist, Alexander, and Jenkins have been working with Holston’s parent company, Eastman Chemical, since late 2004 to address this issue. The congressmen pursued the issue with the Army, and the three sent letters in December 2005 and May 2006 urging the Army to expedite consideration of this matter in order to reach a resolution before the retirees’ benefits expire. Under previous law, the ACAB decision could not be implemented until Congress had 60 days in session to review it. However, Sens. Frist and Alexander successfully worked to change the provision to 60 calendar days, thus ensuring that the Holston retirees will receive their benefits. ###