Viking Life, by Kevin Koenig (continued)
Putting his cash where his mouth was, Bob, the money man (Bill focuses on boatbuilding) offered to pay the tax on Viking sales himself. But potential owners still balked. The tax was bogus, they thought, no one should have to pay it. So in protest, nobody bought boats. And the layoffs kept coming, one time more than a hundred in a day.
“And that’s when Bob lost his mind,” says one long-time Viking employee, “he decided to put an end to the tax then and there.” The Healeys soon mobilized. They filled buses with unemployed factory workers and sent them to D.C. to show the federal government the harsh reality of the tax. They got in important peoples’ ears, softly. And they got in important peoples’ faces too, with a bit more volume. They handled it like two old-school, Irish-Catholic guys from Atlantic City would be expected to: fiercely and relentlessly. It worked.