Labor's Fight For Our Freedom Against Mercenary CEOs
The fight for freedom is embodied in the power of collective bargaining, which is needed now more than ever, as the we fight off encroaching fascism.
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The fight for freedom is embodied in the power of collective bargaining, which is needed now more than ever, as we fight off encroaching fascism aided and abetted by mercenary CEOs and corporations.
For the first time in history, United Auto Workers (UAW) for the “Big Three” automakers are on strike. It is also the first time in 53 years that both SAG/AFTRA and the WGA have been on strike at the same time.
And oddly, the slick, predatory talking points of rapacious CEOs are not landing well, even with the help of mainstream publications repeating their PR because yes, most media is a part of some big business these days (but not The Daily - we are two decidedly working-class people).
The UAW strike is the “most ambitious U.S. industrial labor action in decades,” according to Reuters.
The Summer of Strikes is making history and in an unexpected turn, labor is winning the PR war so far.
CEOs Are Mercenary and Entitled
The CEOs are raking in unfathomable amounts of money, while workers scrounge.
Disney’s chief executive office Bob Iger got a $5 million annual raise on his $27 million per year compensation in July and GM’s CEO is making $29 million a year. They’re entitled, though, according to them, because they’re doing good work or some such argument that they oddly don’t apply to anyone else doing the actual labor.
For example, GM’s CEO Mary Barra brings in $29 million a year while UAW workers are making the same amount they were making in 2008.
Barra has gotten a 34% pay increase over the last four years, which she attributes to “record profit-sharing,” yet has the gall to claim she is “disappointed and frustrated” with the striking workers for asking for a 40% wage increase over four years.
“The union is demanding, asking for a 40% wage increase over four years. They’re asking for that in part because they say CEOs like yourself leading the Big Three are making those kind of pay increases over the course of the last four years. You’ve seen a 34% pay increase in your salary. You make almost $30 million. Why should your workers not get the same type of pay increases that you’re getting leading the company?” asked CNN’s Vanessa Yurkevich.
Barra declared on the Sunday shows that GM couldn’t be “successful” if it met all of the workers demands, “Actually, no. The life of the contract, the initial demands were over $100 billion. We're -- we still have a ways to go.”
She did not, however, offer to cut her own salary to make that happen nor did she or any of the other CEOs show up to negotiate in July, long before the strike, when they were told to come to the table.
GM Offering 14 Percentage Points Less Than Their CEO Gets
Business Insider pointed out that what Barra/GM is offering is still 14 percentage points less than Barra’s was the last four years. “That 20% increase is still 14 percentage points less than Barra's was over the last four years.”
If Barra thinks GM can’t be successful if the workers are fairly compensated, she should probably start with her own bloated compensation. No one needs $29 million a year if they run a company that can’t afford to pay their workers properly.
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