The Rapture Employee Relations Organisation (RERO) was a private organisation founded in Rapture in 1951. While in theory serving as an organisation for improving employee-employer relations in the free market of Rapture, most of their work was serving as hired thugs for the highest bidder, whether it be the employer or employees.
RERO was founded in 1951 by two men, the Irish-American Albert O'Higgins, a former Chicagoan with a past as a gangster and strike-buster working for big business, and the German Wilhelm Logan, a university-trained expert on employer-worker relations and a former trade union leader before the Nazis got into power. Despite Rapture's free market economy, with no legal right in place for unions to be formed, the two men thought that a productive relationship between employees and employers would be beneficial both for the economy and for the workers and employers themselves. However, as the men had different experiences and opinions, Albert being pro-employer and favouring a more decisive, blunt approach and Wilhelm being pro-worker and favouring talks, the early years were filled with disagreements between the two.
Initially, the two worked as consultants, helping solve disputes when they got in the way of production. For example, they helped advise a chemical factory on new safety procedures after an accidental death at work when a cleaner broke her neck and suffered severe acid burns. They also helped advise companies on pay rates to offer employees to attract workers in the competitive Rapture work environment, and helped solve several other disputes and advised companies on several other issues. They soon gained a reputation as trustworthy, reliable and good negotiators and advisors, helping many companies with policies, and began getting new employees and built a fancy new HQ in a business district of Rapture (the new HQ was free, courtesy of a construction company for whom RERO had helped solve an argument about a new job building apartments.) They even indirectly helped establish the Rapture Amusements Park, as they helped resolve several labour disputes both before and during construction, and one of their accountants suggested the idea in the first place.
Despite the successes of the company and their popularity, the relationship between Albert and Wilhelm was deteriorating. The two had nothing in common personally, and they had already disagreed severely on several on-the-job issues, for example how to advise a company to deal with a schism in the upper management, or how to manage the finances of their own business. They eventually decided to recruit a third partner to serve as a decider in arguments between the two, as well as a negotiator for their problems. They picked Steve McInnis, a negotiator and accountant who had proven himself when he helped a security company solve an issue of employees stealing company property. They promoted him to his new position in 1955, which he quickly got used to.
They both began to regret their decision. Not only had one of their best negotiators stopped doing field work, but he often proposed his own ideas rather than supporting Wilhelm or Albert. Tensions in the company rose even higher, and those in the know said that they needed their own services. However, to the public, the company was doing great. They were going from strength to strength, riding through the highs and lows of Rapture helping companies and workers alike solve all their problems. In public, any rumours of tensions or disagreements between the three partners were dismissed as rumours spread by those who desired the company's downfall, say rivals or those who had lost out to a deal RERO helped make. Several high-profile business deals and cases helped to further cement their reputation. Others tried emulating their success, including a company led by a RERO accountant, Carlos Rodriguez, who broke off from the main company hoping to achieve his own personal successes, but they never achieved the success or reputation RERO had, and most failed before the fall of Rapture.
Around this time, ADAM became a firm part of Rapture culture, and the RERO had several cases regarding ADAM; a few companies wanted advise on whether to allow workers to splice for example, which created even more confusion and disagreement amongst the three partners; Logan thought splicing was good and beneficial, natural-even, becoming an avid splicer (he had been investing in Fontaine Futuristics and getting close to several members of senior management, wanting to benefit from their business clout), O'Higgins thought it was an "insult to God and all that is holy and right" and McInnis was neutral on the issue, not much of a splicer as he didn't really understand all the fuss, wanting to focus on more interesting and less divisive issues and jobs. ADAM affected several other cases in other ways and soon became a common aspect of everyday life. O'Higgins briefly campaigned, privately, to not get involved in any ADAM-based cases and to stop affiliating with companies involved in ADAM, concerned about playing God and it's health impact, yet Logan shot him down, with McInnis supporting him, as he thought such a move would be stupid, unprofitable and silly.
The Civil WarEdit
As ADAM became even more popular and the Civil War slowly became an everyday part of Rapture life, RERO evolved to keep up. The disputes they had to deal with went from mundane and bureaucratic to urgent and violent, like worker uprisings. To counter this, RERO "negotiators" began arming themselves, with both ADAM and conventional weaponry, for protection, as well as occasionally began helping enforcing their policies and decisions manually for an extra fee, which including everything from monitoring construction efforts to serving as impromptu security, investigation and riot control forces. The company leadership became even more divided, with O'Higgins becoming paranoid and increasingly worried about the situation in Rapture, Logan becoming an avid Splicer, becoming detached, manipulative and selfish, and McInnis not caring about the situation, with bigger issues on his mind, only paying attention to cases that interested him. Despite Logan's increasing press presence and his increasing role in the upper-class party scene, the reputation of RERO also began to decay somewhat, after a few scandals and allegations of violence, however it still mentioned a reputation amongst most business figures as a helpful, reliable, trustworthy company.
RERO slowly began to turn into a more military-style organisation with a mercenary bent, and this change was shown subtly in everything from advertising, which began focusing on efficiency and its mercenary way of doing things, to company headquarters, where large stockpiles of weaponry, armour, plasmids and similar such equipment began to stack up. McInnis even began wearing his old military uniforms to work, and tried implementing more military-style daily routines. While by no doubt skilled negotiators, the company began to unofficially accept offers to support, either in unfair negotiation practices or outright violent support, a side in a debate, mostly rich industrialists and business-owners but even the common workers or such if they could muster up the funds in the hard economic times. As the Civil War dragged on and Rapture became a dangerous place falling apart and filled with hostile conflicts between rich and poor, RERO became an almost 100%-military organisation, working for the highest bidder, whether it was a group of militant pro-Atlas industrial workers or a corrupt, rich, immoral industrialist hoping to profit off of the bad times for Rapture.
By mid-1959, RERO was filled with whole private militias of spliced-up, violent thugs working for whatever interest paid the most, having almost completely scrapped its more peaceful, diplomatic sources of revenue, with them only really getting mentioned as the official line of company work, or enshrined in advertising or the new RERO Museum. The bosses were all losing their minds, Logan due to Splicing, O'Higgins due to stress, depression, paranoia and the death of his son and granddaughter in a bombing and McInnis due partially to Splicing but mostly his growing lust for wealth and power. The company soon began to fall apart, Logan, O'Higgins and McInnis taking their private differences out onto the street, initially via competitive business management and political maneuvering but soon pitting those employees loyal to their boss against each other, further adding to the various conflicts going on in Rapture. O'Higgins fell first in the brutal inner-company war, having lost his touch and his will to go on. He was lynched by an angry mob of Splicers, rebels and pro-McInnis supporters in early November as he visited a work site, before his body was thrown on a bonfire of corpses, rubble, furniture and newspapers.
Logan and McInnis continued their meaningless battle, using everything from advertising and money to guns and plasmids to get at the other. The feud was largely ignored, with bigger feuds being the priority of the Rapture population, but the two guys used their armies to serve private interests and fight battles on behalf of the biggest bidder. Eventually, McInnis had firm control of the crumbling RERO HQ, which he made his own private fort, ruling over it like a deranged feudal lord. Logan gathered up his resources and tried launching an attack (when the employees of McInnis were busy eating, sleeping and relaxing) but all his men were killed, he himself dying unceremoniously in the human resources department. McInnis now had full control over RERO, for what it was worth. Deluded and paranoid, he seemed to believe Rapture life continued as normal until his death some years later, when most of the HQ was flooded.