Sam Pizzigati writes that the biggest job killers in America are corporate CEOs. Will Obama stand up to them, and for workers?
A new crime has burst out onto America’s political blotter. Move over drug pushing and car stealing, meet the new menace. Job killing. But fear not. We now have in Congress a dedicated army of self-selected saviors who have loudly vowed to keep us protected.
And just how are these lawmakers going to keep our jobs secure? They’re going to put the kibosh on labor law reform.
Business groups are claiming that passage of the Employee Free Choice Act – the prime pending labor law reform bill – would “harm the economy and cost millions of jobs.” In Congress, reform foes are echoing that pitch at every opportunity. Labor law reform, as South Dakota Senator John Thune enjoys asserting, would be “a job killer for our economy.”
Over the last quarter-century, these real-life job killers – the power suits who run Wall Street and Corporate America – have essentially turned job killing into standard business operating procedure. In effect, they’ve been on a job-killing spree. Their motive: keep CEO pockets stuffed. Their M.O.: merge and purge.
Larry Ellison, the CEO of business software giant Oracle, has merged and purged his way to a fortune that Forbes last month estimated at $22.5 billion. Ellison pulled off his most brazen bit of job killing back in 2005 when he shelled out $10.6 billion to buy out PeopleSoft, an 11,000-employee rival, then proceeded to put the ax to 5,000 jobs.
Ellison’s latest takeover – last week’s acquisition of Silicon Valley’s Sun Microsystems – will end up eliminating, analysts believe, between 5,500 and 10,000 positions, even more jobs than the PeopleSoft grab. But no members of Congress who’ve been blasting the Employee Free Choice Act have so far made any protest whatsoever against Oracle’s latest job-killing maneuver.
Ellison’s personal fortune, meanwhile, is holding up quite nicely, despite the global financial meltdown. This May 8, notes CNBC, Ellison will pocket a $57.5 million quarterly Oracle stock dividend check. In all, over the next 12 months, he’ll reap $230 million in dividends alone.