This is huge. Judge Approves End of United Pension Plans,
The ruling, which carries broad implications for U.S. airlines and their workers, shifts responsibility for United’s four defined-benefit plans to the government’s pension agency.
United’s workers lose much of their pensions, AND United gets to shift the pension payments to the government (us) from their stockholders (the rich).
Because United does this, all the other airlines have to try the same, to stay competitive.
Tuesday’s ruling, following a step taken successfully by US Airways Group Inc. in February, clears the way for similar actions elsewhere.
United’s biggest competitors would be under the most pressure to follow suit. American Airlines, the largest U.S. carrier and a unit of AMR Corp., has said it will keep its pension plans but is concerned about No. 2 United gaining a financial advantage with the elimination of its pensions.
And, next come other corporations, probably starting with GM,
What designs might Mr. Kerkorian have on those [GM’s] retirement plans?
Occasionally, an investor finds a way to separate an ailing company’s pension plan from its business operations and send the obligations to the federal government. The government insures pensions, and by taking over a failing pension plan, it greatly reduces the sponsoring company’s overall liabilities. That can turn a sick company into a winning investment. The pension insurance program bears the loss.
This is an old trick, shifting a company’s pension obligations to the government (us) to the benefit of the shareholders (the rich),
The most visible example of this is Wilbur L. Ross Jr., who made a $260 million profit by taking over bankrupt steel companies just after they sent their pension plans to the government, at a cost of $6.4 billion. Mr. Ross acquired the assets of five steel companies from 2002 to 2004, free from their pension obligations to about 190,000 steel workers. Mr. Ross sold the steel assets to the Mittal Steel Company last month.
And it will add billions and billions to the government’s (our) debt.