hat title outta pump out a few more Google hits. Leaving aside my cheap attempt to gain traffic there is an important issue at hand. A bankruptcy judge on Tuesday authorized UAL to dump four pension plans and shift $6.6 billion in pension obligations to the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp. The government agency previously agreed to pick up $3 billion in pension obligations from bankrupt US Airways.
Note that’s nearly $10 billion dollars added to the federal governments growing deficit, a subject I’ll leave for another time. But I will note Delta, Continental, Northwest and American Airlines all suffer from poorly run and underfunded pension plans. Expect them all to line up to suckle the governments cash teat shortly.
In an effort to publicize their plight a group of retired and current flight attendents have taken a cue from The Women of Enron, WalMart, and the Home Depot girls and have produced a calender. Retired flight attendant Connie Baker, the project’s creator and one of its photo subjects, says it was inspired by the 2003 film Calendar Girls about the real-life story of a group of older British women who posed naked for a calendar to raise charity money.
“I thought if these English women can do this, we flight attendants can definitely do it,” said Baker, 59, who lives outside Phoenix. “We wanted to create a little humor in people’s lives, make it fun, while at the same time getting our message across,” she said.
Her husband, Bruce Baker, took the photos. The other retirees photographed are Linda Andrews, 59, and Rosemary Esparza, 64. Baker did not want to name the other two since they are active flight attendants for United.
For more information the “Stews Stripped” have a website, (note: get a new web designer, yours sucks!) and this one is apparently by a friend or sympathizer, and not incidently selling Arizona real estate, that includes this mission statement:
Our mission is to create a national awareness to the naked truth that no retirement fund is completely secure and that there is a definite crisis in the pension guaranty system. Make certain that your retirement plan is not sitting on a time bomb. Take an active role in your future and start now to plan for your retirement years, you can never start too soon.
Hmm… sounds like an ad for President Bush’s Social Security plan to me, and again a topic for another time.
This entry stalled Outside the Beltway in the Beltway Traffic Jam.