Letter to the Editor

In Marie Cocco's column "It's not just pensions that we are losing" [Opinion, May 17], regarding the horrible pension situation at United Airlines, she brings to light some of the many pressing problems facing American retirees.

Is it right that corporate executives can merely walk away from their obligations to millions of America's retirees only to see their businesses, stock prices and bonuses soar as a result?

Is it right that Congress stands by and allows retirees who worked 30 or 40 years for their pensions and benefits, in lieu of wages, only to be stripped of those pensions and benefits when they really need them?

Sadly, in today's world, a lifetime of loyalty to a company no longer comes with the security it once did. Cocco rightfully ends the column with a call for public activism.

The Long Island-based Association of BellTel Retirees for the past nine years has been putting out a call to action to tens of thousands of retirees. We must remind companies that they cannot simply forget about or renege on their promises to provide workers and retirees with pensions and benefits in retirement. Those pensions and benefits were "earned" during a lifetime of work.

It is not just retirees, but the general public, that also must show its outrage to corporate America and our lawmakers. All taxpayers must get involved since, it is you and I who will be handed this pension debt from the executives who run United Airlines and its parent company, UAL Corp.

C. William Jones

Editor's note: The writer is president of the Association of BellTel Retirees.

Cold Spring Harbor