If there is one thing that the current financial crisis should have taught us it’s that large corporations are evil. They become entities that care about one thing and one thing only; profit. Many times, just short term profit. The banking crisis was all about short term profit. Don’t believe for a moment that no one could have seen it coming. The big banks ALL saw it coming. They saw an opportunity to rake money in hand over fist and distribute huge bonuses to a select few and they took it. All with the realization that they would very likely not be held responsible for their grossly immoral actions.
Here is another ploy that large corporations often pull. Peabody Coal spun off a company called Patriot Coal. When they did so, they filled Patriot Coal with as much of their debt burden as possible. They threw as many retiree pension obligations as possible in with Patriot. Why would they do this, you ask? Well, because that way Patriot can go bankrupt and remove the pension and healthcare obligations that Peabody once agreed to give their employees.
20,000 people are going to have their pensions stripped and their healthcare taken away. Just like that. Peabody could have afforded these benefits if they kept everyone in the parent company, but they chose not to. Why? All for the almighty dollar.
And there’s nothing the workers can do about it. Now that the National Labor Relations Board has been rendered toothless by the courts, companies have free reign to do whatever they want with their employees and retirees. They are safe in the knowledge that they have at least a decade before anything will be able to be done against their actions today.
Notice that the new company that was spun off and designed to fail is called Patriot Coal. That’s how sick these people are. This, to them, is patriotism. They take the best years of thousands of people and work them hard in one of the most dangerous jobs which is known to cause a myriad of health problems. For this, they promise them retirement benefits and healthcare. Then, at the first political opportunity, they throw all the retirees into a spinoff company they never worked for with the obvious intention of letting that company fail. Never a thought made to the individuals affected by it.
Patriot Coal. It makes the blood boil. This is evil on an epic scale. Yet no one will hear of it. And it happens every day.