“Presently, we are facing the frightening probability that our ‘guaranteed’ pension will be terminated,” states the new Web site. “To all who believe that their pension is safe and secure, we hope our message gives you a wake-up call.”
That message is being delivered by five women, ranging in age from 55 to 64, who have posed for a 2006 calendar that depicts them in various states of undress with a variety of backdrops. Though the airline is never named nor its airplanes shown, every photograph in “Stewardesses Stripped (Of Their Pension?)” is accompanied by a “dig” related to the precarious state of their United Airlines pension.
For example, “Coffee, tea, or me without a pension?” reads one, while “Marry me, fly free – but don’t expect anything from my pension,” says another. The cover shot: “Are your butts covered? We thought ours were too.” Retired flight attendant Connie Baker, the project’s creator and one of the calendar’s subjects, claims she was inspired by the 2003 film “Calendar Girls” – a real-life story of a group of older British women who posed naked for a calendar to raise charity money.
According to the AP, Baker, who started working for United in 1967 when flight attendants were called stewardesses, now is bracing for her $2,800-a-month pension to be cut roughly in half. Her husband, Bruce Baker, took the photos. The other retirees photographed are Linda Andrews, 59, and Rosemary Esparza, 64. The other two were not named since they remain active flight attendants for United.
On their Web site, the flight attendants say, “We hope you will find this calendar fun, but most of all, we would like it to inspire you to become actively involved with your retirement plans….”
The mission statement for the initiative notes: “Our mission is to create a national awareness to the naked truth that no retirement fund is completely secure and that there is a definite crisis in the pension guaranty system. Make certain that your retirement plan is not sitting on a time bomb. Take an active role in your future and start now to plan for your retirement years. You can never start too soon.”
Amen to that.
You can order a copy of the 2006 Stewardesses Stripped (of their pension?) Calendar for $14.95 at http://www.stewsstripped.com/ (if you have trouble getting to that site, try https://www.shop.stewsstripped.com ). An autographed version is available for $19.95.