I received an email from a fellow Red Hatter and retired SBC employee.. I long for the days of SBC. But alas, I am destined to be an at&t retiree. What follows is the email that I copied and pasted to this site. It is sad, but true:
The War Against Tyrannical CEO’s
April 6, 2009
The Last Beacon
The War Against Tyrannical CEO’s
by Joey Davis
For years now I’ve walked on eggshells when discussing corporate America and the CEO’s who run our largest companies, mostly due to the unrelenting rhetoric that would surely follow. Rhetoric that says I’m a “socialist” or “anti-American” because I dare suggest that our American prosperity machine is flawed.
Enron, Halliburton, AIG, Global Crossing, Citibank, General Motors, and the list goes on, are reminders that unrestrained capitalism can be dangerous when pirating CEO’s are allowed to pilfer with reckless abandon that which Americans have worked so hard to build.
And while pirating CEO’s pillage in the light of day, other CEO’s creep silently in the shadows like vampires and slowly suck the life out of all of us. Today I view capitalism like religion, as a cloak that covers both saints and sinners, where government can be a maritime legion who sinks the vessel holding the pirates or the light of day that destroys the vampire.
But government cannot do it all. We the people must stop referring to companies as the villain and instead refer to, by name, the CEO’s who ran those companies into the ground, took multi-million dollar bonuses while doing so, jumped off at the last minute, and then floated safely to ground with their golden parachutes.
After all, it wasn’t the guy on the assembly line that drove GM into bankruptcy; it was CEO Rick Wagner who did so and collected millions in the process. Likewise, it wasn’t Enron employees who cooked the books, it was Enron’s executives led by CEO Kenneth Lay and executives of Arthur Anderson. Nor was it the common workers of AIG who used their triple A rating to scam the world, it was CEO Maurice R. Greenberg whose greed and arrogance crippled our world economy.
So who’s next?
Unbeknownst to most Americans, AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson has been lurking off shore like a pirate on the horizon, waiting for his moment to come ashore and fill his coffers with profits he’ll obtain by pillaging the hard working middleclass men and women of AT&T, robbing them of their fair and just deserved wages and benefits. CEO Stephenson, a pirate whose sole purpose is to destroy in the name of profits, one of the last bastions of the American middle class worker, and has commandeered the once majestic vessel called Ma Bell, a powerful symbol of American ingenuity, know-how, and the middle class.
Alexander Graham Bell combined sound and electricity. His legacy built the American story for 130 years, and gave us companies like Western Electric and AT&T, creating jobs for middle-class families paying fair wages and benefits for linemen, switchboard operators, and other union workers who were able to purchase homes for their families and realize the American dream. Now Mr. Stephenson wants to tear down the American tradition where an honest company pays an honest day’s wages so long as it can remain profitable.
Well, Mr. Stephenson, AT&T profited a whopping 13 billion dollars in 2008 during one of the worst recessions in 75 years, now it’s your turn to do the right thing by the men and women who did the jobs that make AT&T so profitable!!
Not to be outdone by the CEO’s of AIG, Enron and GM, Mr. Stephenson has carefully and calculatingly surveyed today’s scorched American landscape at the hands of his fellow CEO’s, and has noted their mistakes so that he may deal a more deliberate blow against his workers and escape with the spoils of his unjust war against the middle class.
While America licks her wounds he plans his attack, not realizing that although wounded, America is never weak, and Americans will no longer stand by and allow CEO’s to rape and pillage the American worker!
We will not stand back and watch another corporate elitist CEO tear down yet another American institution in the name of profits! Generations of men and women worked hard and sacrificed for Ma Bell and will not let you destroy it without a fight.
The Communication Workers of America (CWA) are asking Mr. Stephenson to simply “maintain” the wage and benefit structure that allowed AT&T to reach the top 10 of the Fortune 500’s largest corporations last year (yet failed to make the Fortune top 100 companies to work for). AT&T also made Fortunes’ top 10 “most profitable” companies (and yet didn’t make the top 20 “most admired”).
Who was doing the work that took them to such lofty heights? Last time I looked there weren’t any suits climbing telephone poles! I’ve never seen a CEO working through the night to restore service during a flood, fires, snowstorms or earthquakes! When natural disasters hit it’s the workingmen and women who leave their families and work in harsh and dangerous conditions through the night to restore service to their fellow Americans, and we do so with pride and a sense of responsibility to our neighbors.
Support your AT&T worker so that we can bring back the values of corporate America and the working middle class. Don’t allow greedy CEO’s to continue to destroy American institutions, trades, and the American worker by lowering the bar to the lowest common denominator in order to fill their own pockets and the pockets of their wealthy friends on Wall Street.
We, the Communication Workers of America want to be the beacon of light that will lead the rest of American workers back to prosperity, a day when corporate CEO’s will once again value the American worker rather than despise them as nothing more than an unfortunate means to an end.