Friday, February 25, 2011
10 Year Plans
The following article makes the connection of big business controlling us from cradle to the grave. Other than Union bustng and having politicians in their pocket they now want to control pension funds WORLDWIDE. This has been in the works for ten years.
H/T to The Swash Zone
UPDATE FROM OCTO: Two years ago, I posted this announcement about taking leave from the Swash Zone to collaborate on a story with Lindsay Beyerstein of Focal Point. Two years later, the project remains on hold, and the story untold. I am still constrained from revealing certain details, but I will volunteer this for now: The story is about a ten year plan to break the unions, dismantle all Defined Benefit Pensions in America, and seize pension assets.
You guessed it. The Wisconsin story and the collaboration between Lindsay and Octopus are interconnected. Here is a brief synopsis:
The story involves former Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist of Tennessee, Senator Chuck Grassley of Iowa, Senator Max Baucus of Montana, former Secretary of the Treasury John Snow, former Vice President Dick Cheney, and 103 legislators in the House of Representatives.
Over 1,100 retired airline pilots lost 40% of their pension funds when their employer, USAir, filed for bankruptcy protection. Every organization and institution offering redress failed the pilots at every step along the way.
US Air (employer) declared bankruptcy after 9/11 and alleged that all pilot pension funds had been lost. During the discovery phase following bankruptcy proceedings, USAir admitted having 78% of the funds which was turned over to the PBGC; later it was shown that US Air had 103% of the funds.
ALPA - the airline pilot union abandoned their retired pilots by refusing to represent them in claims against USAir … thus violating their own bylaws;
U.S. Congress -– The pilots lobbied Congress to redress their grievance. The Airline Pension Act of 2003 (the bill known as HR 2719) was sponsored by 103 legislators but died in committee;
The Law firm representing the pilots was bought by a rival firm that represented only management; thus the original law firm withdrew from case;
Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) – Although the PBGC recovered 103% of the pension funds, pilots are receiving only 60% of their pensions; there is a pending class action suit between the pilots and the PBGC.
Current Status – of the 1,100 retired pilots participating in the class action suit, 285 have since died – with no resolution after 8 years of litigation. The matter is still pending.
At one point during the lobbying effort, one of the petitioners (a retired pilot) was pulled aside by a chief aid of one of the senators mentioned above, who said:
“[Name redacted], I want to tell you something in strict confidence. If they find out I told you, it will cost me my career and my future. They are not only NOT going to help you, but it is their agenda to dismantle all Defined Benefit Plans worldwide, not just in the U.S.”
According to this aid, these were the goals of the leadership: To remove all legacy costs as a long-term obligation off corporate books with the goal of increasing shareholder value. Not targeting pilots specifically, their aim was to use USAir as a test case for cutting legacy costs in key industries, such as automotive and steel and the public sector, by circumventing or overturning laws that protected these pensions. The pilots were chosen as a test case because they were regarded negatively as “under-worked, over-paid playboys.”
Former Treasury Secretary John Snow was formerly the Chairman of CSX Corporation, a holding company sold to the Carlisle Group after Snow accepted a cabinet post in the Bush/Cheney administration. Dick Cheney held board positions in CSX and Electronic Data Systems (EDS). EDS was the largest creditor named in the USAir bankruptcy filing. As Treasury Secretary, Snow had jurisdiction over the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC). Snow was Cheney's choice for the Treasury position. These are the relationships between the key players in this story.
As you can surmise from the above synopsis, busting unions and seizing pension assets has been a long term objective of the GOP. Lindsay and Octopus are awaiting the outcome of litigation between the pilots and the PBGC before publishing the full account.
O/T A Georgia Represenative was asked by a audience member when will someone shoot Obama.