Who is the greediest and grouchiest corporate Grinch who has inflicted the most harm on workers and working families in 2007? You can decide as part of Jobs with Justice’s seventh annual Grinch of the Year contest.
The nominees this year are:
• Joseph Luter III, chairman of Smithfield, where working conditions aren’t much better than those described 100 years ago in Upton Sinclair’s “The Jungle.” When workers tried to organize the company’s Tar Heel plant, they were harassed and intimidated.
• Bob Toohey, vice president of human resources for Verizon, the huge telecommunications company that engaged in union-busting, attempted to cut service to rural communities and threatened the health care and retirement security of its retired employees.
• J. Nicholas Counter III, president of the Association of Motion Picture and Television Producers, who has forced a strike by 12,000 members of the Writer’s Guild, affecting the entire entertainment industry.
• John W. Chidsey, CEO of Burger King, who refuses to improve the wages and working conditions of the farm workers who pick the tomatoes sold at his fast food restaurants.
• Gerard Arpey, CEO and president of American Airlines, who has refused to reward the sacrifice of 95,000 workers who made massive concessions in 2003, but has awarded millions of dollars in bonuses to top executives.
The winner of last year’s Grinch award, Goodyear Tire and Rubber Co., forced out on strike more than 15,000 United Steelworkers members at 16 plants in the United States and Canada in October 2006.
Past Grinch candidates and winners have included Wal-Mart, George W. Bush, Donald Rumsfeld, Cintas, Comcast, Verizon Wireless, Angelica and Continental General Tire.
Jobs with Justice, founded in 1987, has coalitions in more than 40 cities fighting for justice in workplaces and communities. To vote for the 2007 “Grinch of the Year,” go to www.jwj.org/grinch.html
This article is adapted from the AFL-CIO news blog, http://blog.aflcio.org and the Jobs with Justice website, www.jwj.org