In twentieth century America, workers valued security. Although corporations operated with a certain level of greed, it was generally understood that the longevity and stability of corporations benefited from stable, well-paid and secure workforces within each corporate structure. Workers gave their best labor in exchange for fair wages and often for retirement programs partially funded by the corporations, which would then help, ensure stable communities, prosperous consumers, and maximize good corporate/community relationships over extended periods of time.
That was then. This is now. United Airlines employees, including retirees have just come face to face with a new reality. Not only will future employees face reduced pensions and retirements, but also those who worked hard and played by the rules of the old generation are finding that management has changed the rules of the game unilaterally and retroactively. Now, when the corporation faces hard times, often driven by management decisions relative to market forces, retirees face losing their equity, hard won and deserved by years and years of past labor.
Stability is gone. Loyalty is abused. Integrity is meaningless. Security is a joke. Workers are taught that agreements are honored only as long as they are considered useful to corporate interests.
On the other hand, executives pay themselves huge salaries, bonuses and severances. Management gets their money up front in huge amounts, while workers are deprived of what they earned over time.
The American way is fading into oblivion. Not only are pensions being dishonored, but health insurance, too. Employees who worked for years for security may get sick in their old age and find that their insurance plans have been cut. Then, they find that the bankruptcy laws have been changed so that they cannot escape debt. Sickness means they must sell their homes to get medical treatment, and then when they cannot pay, the banks foreclose on their homes and they are on the streets.
The new America is a heartless America. The wealthy elite has no heart, no compassion, and no loyalty. The Congress has sided with the elite, and the worker is on his own. Watch for the next few years as the whole system starts to unravel….