The inter-union committee met Thursdays, volunteered to develop a common action plan for educating non-union workers on membership benefits and worker solidarity.
Three of the twelve joined Local 3488 in the Carter years, the end of the first wave of U.S. adjustment to the reality of global competition. Each neared retirement, now absent their total promised pension. Their employer, once a Fortune 500 force, sold out to an investment capital firm. Within a year, despite continued profitability, the investment company dumped its underfunded pension obligations on the Pension Guaranty Benefit Corporation and freed up a mile-high stack of pension-earmarked reserves. A once-guaranteed pension reduced to 40% of previous overnight, confirmed by the PGBC representative.
With its rebalanced financial statement, the new owners siphoned away pension assets via steep service fees. A year later, 20% of the workforce learned on a Friday their jobs evaporated. The next month, the corporate parent declared a record dividend payment to its select investors.
The corporate raider made eight-figure contributions to Super-PACs advertising a need to eliminate union rights in order to create jobs. It challenged mandatory insurance coverage for contraceptives, as well as environmental and other regulations. It advocated for a reduced capital gains tax, strict voter identification laws, drastic cuts in Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and education. Millions poured into battleground states favouring candidates supporting its positions.
The well-known company CEO appeared on innumerable talk shows, decrying entitlement laws as the creation of a welfare state destroying the American work ethic and jobs. He dismissed healthcare concerns as leftist non-issues and urged support for status quo, but encouraged a military spending increase.
In Washington and every state capital, others embraced his advocacy, while a bored electorate stepped aside and allowed corporate raiders to evolve into government ones, laying claim to ownership of America.