The great pension fund and Social Security Trust Fund swindles and robberies – from Detroit to Minnesota’s Mesabi Iron Range
by Alan Maki, Director of Organizing, Midwest Casino Workers Organizing Council
Thanks for getting this out about the Detroit pensions.
In fact, workers’ pensions are under attack all over the country in both the public and private sectors.
Here in Minnesota on the Mesabi Iron Range, a rank-and-file miners’ organization— Hard Rock Miners— has been organized to defend the pensions at National Steel, a major player in the taconite industry where workers are members of the United Steel Workers Union but corrupt union officials are working in cahoots with corporate executives and corrupt Minnesota Democratic Farmer-Labor Party politicians and pension fund “managers” (read swindlers) to cover up this enormous swindle of pension fund monies paid in by workers and as part of the contract agreements between the USW and National Steel and other companies over the years.
We saw what happened with billions of dollars of pension funds at LTV, before.
We have seen how these crooks in the unions have collaborated with these pension fund swindlers as they get paid huge salaries for sitting on these pension fund boards supposedly looking after the interests of the workers they are supposed to represent but knowing that they derive these huge pension fund salaries only as long as the close their eyes and keep their mouths shut as these swindles take place on their “watch.”
For those who want to learn more about how these pension fund swindles take place and what can be done to fight back, I would suggest reading “Always Bring A Crowd, the story of Frank Lumpkin, steelworker” about the struggle of Wisconsin Steel Workers to recover their pension benefits.
We must remember that when these pension funds “disappear,” they don’t “disappear into thin air. What is actually happening is someone else ends up in possession of this tremendous wealth that has been created by workers and invested in these funds for their retirement years.
It is the Wall Street shysters, often called “investors” and “bankers,” who end up with this tremendous stolen wealth.
It is ironic that when workers begin to inquire as to what is going on with their pension funds by asking very legitimate questions, they are treated as if they are trouble-makers.
And when they ask politicians who have been elected largely with their support, they are brushed off by being told, “We are looking into this for you and will get back to you with what we find out;” only to never hear from these politicians ever again.
The politicians continue to hold out one hand in front of them begging for campaign contributions and votes from from workers and their unions, while with one hand in back and out of sight they are taking campaign contributions and bribes from these Wall Street shysters robbing these pension funds blind as their greed is no longer satisfied with just the exorbitant “management fees the derive from supposedly taking care of these pension funds.
We have experienced the same kind of swindles in the Indian Gaming Industry where these politicians and the United States Department of Justice have not only allowed, but enabled, crooked and corrupt outfits like Alerus who work in conjunction with the mobsters who own the slot machines to rob workers of their hard-earned poverty wages invested in these “pension” scams and schemes.
In fact, workers would be better off fighting to expand Social Security and prevent the politicians from dipping their dirty, corrupt fingers into the Social Security Trust Fund so all workers would receive decent retirement benefits they could actually live on rather than the meager and miserly payouts leaving so many retired workers mired in poverty in their later years.
Just think what kind of pensions all workers could be receiving today had all these pension fund monies been placed in the Social Security Trust Fund with all these funds protected from the clutches of these Wall Street politicians who have robbed the Social Security Trust Fund to pay for their dirty imperialist wars from which Wall Street derives the greatest profits of all as people suffer and die.
One has to wonder why the media is covering up how this swindle of the pension funds is taking place.