Tuesday, December 07, 2004

4,400 get lay-off notices while exec's still get thousands of dollars in perks...

Colgate-Palmolive is sending 4,400 employees, some 15% of it's worldwide work force, home with an early Christmas present today - Termination notices.

Company chairman and CEO Reuben Mark described Colgate's worldwide sales and volume trends as "excellent" but said the company will close one-third of its factories as part of a four-year plan aimed at boosting its sales and profits.

The Associated Press reports though that while thousands of factory workers will have to explain to their children that Santa won't be able to visit this year, that will not be a problem faced by those in the executive suite. The news-wire discovered that many of Colgate's top executives and officers are given an allowance of up to $11,500 a year to spend on anything from pet sitters to running shoes to karate lessons to movie rentals. This benefit, which comes on top of their earnings, is "To recognize the long hours spent in the office required by the responsibilities of your position."

Considering that the company paid its top five executives $23.3 million in cash and stock, plus another $9.1 million in stock options one might, if he or she were a bit cynical, think an average annual income of $6.4 million plus free dog-walking etc. a bit much.

Gee, though. It is rough being a highly paid corporate executive. That's why Dear Leader President Bush wants to replace our present tax system with one in which the burden will be lifted from the shoulders of the poor executives to rest more firmly where it belongs, on the suckers er, working class.

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