Published 29 Jun, 2011
The Alliance for Retired Americans Educational Fund awarded its sixth annual Bert and Annabel Seidman Prize for Advancing Social Policy to National Labor College (NLC) student Gary Schaible, Vice President of TWU Local 565.
Schaible is a licensed Aviation Maintenance Technician (AMTs) working for American Airlines at Dallas Ft. Worth International Airport. He was awarded the prize for his senior project entitled, “Retirement? —Not In This Lifetime: How Retirement for Aircraft Mechanics Is Becoming a Dream of The Past.”
Schaible’s report researched the ongoing struggle facing older American workers as they try to secure a dignified retirement in the airline industry where pensions have been decimated. The report conducted a thorough analysis of why union members, especially aircraft mechanics, have trouble securing a sound retirement and the threats to pensions and jobs given the poor economy. He surveyed aircraft mechanics working at major airlines, some of who worked at multiple carriers due to airline bankruptcies.
“All of the submissions were standouts,” said Joan Seidman Welsh and Betsy Seidman Garaufis, who are on the selection committee. “We felt, however, that Gary’s paper really resonated because it embodies the life work of our parents to achieve retirement security for all Americans.”
The Seidman prize is a $3,000 honorarium encouraging NLC students to research and analyze social policies that affect the older population.
The Alliance Educational Fund designed the prize to honor Bert and Annabel Seidman, whose lifelong passion for social justice and worker rights inspired their careers. Bert was the director of the AFL-CIO’s Social Security Department for 33 years. After retiring, he was an expert consultant to the Alliance and the National Council of Senior Citizens, specializing in Social Security, pensions, housing, and health care. Annabel, a teacher and social worker, founded the National Nursing Home Information Service and was its director for 25 years.