Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Some real people's pension-dumping stories

It's one thing to analyze whether a company can really afford to keep its pension plans going, or whether it can survive even if it dumps the plans, or whether the unions and the bankruptcy court are doing enough to protect the pensions and the work force.

It's another thing to talk to people who have lived through all this.

You might want to look at my article in the upcoming April 5 (Saturday) issue of Newsday (the daily newspaper on Long Island, NY). I interviewed a half-dozen people who work or worked for some of the big airlines at JFK and LaGuardia airports, and who have lost their pensions, adding their stories to excerpts and analysis from my book "Pension Dumping."

What I found most amazing was that, even through their worry and bitterness, so many of these people still love their jobs. The flight attendants manage to keep those cheerful (sometimes too-cheerful) smiles when they greet their passengers (us). But of course they're angry at their companies and even their unions. They're delaying retirement, taking second jobs, and working extra hours. No surprises there; only sadness.

The article will be the cover story of Newsday's weekly Act Two section.


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