Wednesday, April 1, 2009

This is what class warfare really looks like

Home Depot and their CEO Frank Blake have vociferously opposed the Employee Free Choice Act. Blake wants to protect the statusquo whereby CEO's like him get to decide how their employees may organize their union. The couch their opposition in grandious discussions of democract and the "secret ballot" when in fact they simply want to continue to control the process and subsequently their workers. Here's Wal-Mart CEO Lee Scott speaking last October,

"We like driving the car and we're not going to give the steering wheel to anybody but us."

I suppose we should thank Scott for dropping the facade for us and giving us a peek behind the curtain. Think about what he's defending. It's a system whereby employees have no rights themselves, they are controlled completely by their CEO. Why should your boss get to decide what process you can use to choose your union? It's not the bosses union, it's the workers union.

But really who can blame the Lee Scott's of the world, why wouldn't they want to be in charge? The system works pretty damn well for them. Let's revist our friend Mr. Blake,

Home Depot (HD) CEO Frank Blake received compensation valued at $9.2 million in 2008 - a 20 percent increase from the previous year - as the company’s profit dipped and the retailer laid off 7,000 workers , according to a regulatory filing Monday.

For the 2008 fiscal year, Home Depot’s profit fell 49 percent to $2.26 billion, or $1.34 per share, from $4.4 billion, or $2.37 per share.

Frank Blake is a failure at his job but Frank Blake isn't hurt by his poor peformance - his workers are. 7,000 workers laid off and Blake recieves a 20% raise to over $9 million. So Blake gets richer and richer while his workers face layoffs, low pay and a lack of benefits. And if the workers want to do anything about their work conditions? Well then Frank Blake gets to decide how the workers will be allowed to exercise their legally protected rights.

That's what this fight is about.

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