Corp steals health care for 95,000

Steelworkers in the NW corner of Indiana feel like they are participating in a real life soap opera. The way the plot goes is first a company declares bankruptcy. Then they close the plant or are bought up. Workers lose their jobs and the retirees take it in the neck. Their pensions are reduced and they lose their health care.

For example, Bethlehem Steel is now in the process of being bought by the International Steel Group (ISG) which bought LTV Steel and ACME Steel last year.

The Bethlehem Steel retirees lost a good portion of their pensions when the government took over the mismanaged pension plan. Now Bethlehem has announced that at the end of March retirees and their dependents – 95,000 total – will have their health care terminated.

This ought to be illegal. These people worked their whole lives for the promise of a pension and health care. Now they are getting robbed. In many cases, replacement health care will cost the retiree almost as much as their pension.

Somebody ought to go to jail for this crime. If someone jumped an old person and took their pension check they’d go to jail. Why not lock up these corporate robbers?

Paul S. Kaczocha
Gary IN
(The writer is a Bethlehem Steel worker)

Support the Cuban 5

Though we are in the midst of a Bush Terror War, let’s not to forget about the many political prisoners already unjustly held in American prisons.

The Cuban Five are a group of such prisoners. They have already been in prison for four years. Their crime? Trying to stop groups, funded by our government, from attacking sovereign nations. This April 7 the five will have a hearing for their appeal for a new trial at the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta.

For more information see the website at to see what can be done and to hear their story.

Francisco De La Cruz
Milwaukee WI

More important than oil

Two things came in my e-mail today: a news story that Bush’s budget proposes new eligibility requirements that would make it harder for low-income families to obtain government benefits; and a note from a friend about the Feb. 15 demonstration: “I cannot go, but I would like to give $75 for the cause … My little brother is a Marine, he is more important than oil.”

It seems to me that Bush and his gang consider young people, especially from poor families, to be nothing more than cannon fodder. They will use budget cuts to force even more young people into the military. The ultra-right elements of the ruling class that Bush serves think nothing of the casualties, only of the profits.

The Feb. 15 demonstration along with the almost daily demonstrations happening all over, the union anti-war resolutions, the March 5 Student Strike for Peace, all these will help stop the unending war plans and will save the lives of our own brothers and sisters and others around the world. I can’t wait to put the ultra-right on the defensive and send them packing.

Barbara T. Russum
Chicago IL

Snow job

“I know what it’s like to need a job and I also know what it takes to create jobs,” said Secretary Treasurer nominee John W. Snow at his confirmation hearing.

Thank you People’s Weekly World and Fred Gaboury for your expose on Mr.Snow. (1/11/03)

While Mr. Snow was CEO of CSX he was in charge of and did wonders for himself: CSX loaned Snow $24.5 million purchase of co. stock valued at $32.3 million. But after the stock price dropped the co. forgave the loan; He will retire with a pension of 2.5 million a year and was one of the highest paid CEO’s. Under Snow CSX did not pay taxes for 1998 and 2001; During Snow’s reign CSX was cited by federal authorities for “significant” track safety violations; Snow has been described as a “poster child for all the things that are wrong about our pay-to-play system of financing campaigns” by Public Campaign, a campaign finance reform group.

Bush and co. have nominated Mr. Snow because he is all for Bush’s tax cuts to the wealthy and will go along.

As for creating jobs, well, we’ll just have to wait and see.

Gabe Falsetta
Glendale NY