THE MILLIONAIRES AND CORPORATE ABUSE
So maybe it is just me, but it seems like nothing is changing under the sun, or under the sky, I should say. So here we go again, with this developing story:
Some companies are beginning to restore cuts they made to managers’ salaries and bonuses in the early, bewildering days of the pandemic shutdowns, a sign that some industries—and their white-collar workers—are benefiting from glimmers of recovery while millions of others continue to endure job and income losses.
In the first weeks of the pandemic, companies contending with government-ordered lockdowns, plummeting orders, and closed stores reasoned that cutting pay could lower costs and stave off greater job losses. Many targeted higher-level executives’ compensation as a sign of solidarity with furloughed workers earning much less. By mid-July, roughly a quarter of major public companies reduced pay for CEOs and other executives, according to an analysis by consulting firm Compensation Advisory Partners.
Now, a number of companies, including Walt Disney Co., General Motors Co., and Yelp Inc., YELP -2.51% are restoring executive and some white-collar worker salaries to previous levels, while others are paring earlier pay cuts. At many firms, the moves reflect an acknowledgment that stressed-out workers—many juggling child care and remote learning—can’t work full-time for partial pay.
They also indicate an economy increasingly cleaving to two tracks: one in which the livelihoods of white-collar professionals in certain industries have remained largely intact, and another for lower-income workers, many of whom work in service jobs in hard-hit industries such as hospitality, travel, and retail. Millions of them have lost jobs, been furloughed, or seen their hours cut.
“When we first started out, it was like, ‘Yeah, everybody’s in this together, this is a tough time, we’ve all got to make sacrifices and pull together,’” said Susan Schroeder, a partner at Compensation Advisory Partners, who notes larger companies have been more likely to restore executive pay as smaller businesses continue to struggle. “Now that it has dragged on, I think things have changed a little bit.”
Some boards and executives, she says, maybe pushing for compensation changes since many pay cuts were initially billed as short-term, set at a time when many expected the pandemic would abate by summer. Most executives make the bulk of their compensation in stock-based awards or other long-term incentives, so many observers consider the initial salary cuts largely symbolic.
Not all companies restoring pay have bounced back, and many, such as Disney, have furloughed workers and are reporting big losses. New applications for unemployment benefits rose last week after a series of declines, the Labor Department said this week—an indication fresh layoffs are occurring even as the economy broadly is showing signs of recovering. WOW...SERIOUSLY...WOW... like we never thought to smell the stincky roses...
Disney will lift, as of Aug. 23, some salary reductions for executives put in place early in the pandemic, despite posting a nearly $5 billion loss in the quarter that ended June 27. The entertainment news website Deadline was the first to report news of Disney’s move. A number of executives took pay cuts beginning in April to help the company weather the crisis. Bob Iger, Disney’s executive chairman, will forgo nearly his entire salary through the last payroll period in the company’s fiscal year, which ends in September.
Other companies say the decision to reinstate full compensation reflects an improved business outlook. Yelp, which laid off 1,000 workers and furloughed more than 1,100 others in the spring, said in July it is bringing back nearly all of its furloughed staffers, and would fully restore employee pay and hours. The company in April announced a 20% to 30% cut in executive pay. In a July note to employees, Yelp Chief Executive Jeremy Stoppelman said “the hard steps we took early on have put us in a stronger position.”
In April, General Motors announced it would temporarily trim 69,000 workers’ salaries by 20%, then repay the money with interest in March 2021. Those salary deferrals for its white-collar workers ended on Aug. 1, sooner than expected, and the company plans to repay the lost wages with interest in the fourth quarter of this year, GM spokesman Jim Cain said. “The business is recovering faster than expected, so we were able to restore pay and we will repay people faster than planned,” he said.
Hmm...I am wondering how much all these companies WILL GIVE EVENTUALLY, some left=over bones to their HARD WORKING PEOPLE. I don't think it will happen.
Just real-life situations, where Individual people, hard-working people for their companies, MUST take care of their finances and their families.
Just a thought, maybe a small token of appreciation from the money-hungry greedy vultures?
Well, at least the European fat cats will eat more American yummy lobsters...
The Trump administration and European Union agreed Friday to a limited tariff rollback, providing relief to American lobster exports and to a range of European items, and providing a boost to strained U.S.-EU trade relations.
The reductions were announced in a joint statement from U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and EU Trade Commissioner Phil Hogan. They would be the first negotiated tariff reductions in more than two decades.
The EU will drop tariffs on U.S. live and frozen lobsters. The American lobster industry has found itself struggling because the EU reached a free-trade agreement with Canada that reduced lobster tariffs. With no comparable agreement with the U.S., European imports of Canadian lobsters were soaring, while American lobster exports plunged.
“The elimination of the EU tariff on U.S. lobster products is a significant achievement,” said Annie Tselikis, the executive director of the Maine Lobster Dealer’s Association. “The EU was historically an essential market for Maine lobster ... this move levels the playing field for Maine lobster companies and will benefit the entire industry.”
In June, the Trump administration created a payment program to aid the lobster industry, which had also been damaged when China retaliated to U.S. tariffs with tariffs on items including U.S. lobster. Lobster exports have become something of a political hot-button issue because it is an iconic industry in Maine, one of the states the president is targeting in his re-election campaign.
In 2017, the U.S. exported $111 million of lobster to the EU. In exchange for Europe dropping the lobster tariffs, the U.S. agreed to reduce tariffs on $160 million worth of goods from Europe including “certain prepared meals, certain crystal glassware, surface preparations, propellant powders, cigarette lighters, and lighter parts.”
In a joint statement, the trade officials said “as part of improving EU-US relations, this mutually beneficial agreement will bring positive results to the economies of both the United States and the European Union.”
“We intend for this package of tariff reductions to mark just the beginning of a process that will lead to additional agreements that create more free, fair, and reciprocal trans-Atlantic trade,” said Messrs. Lighthizer and Hogan.
For the EU, the agreement offers a sign that Mr. Hogan and the current European Commission, which took office in December, can at least start delivering on promises to de-escalate trade tensions with the U.S. and find “quick wins” on trade—even if it has taken longer than hoped and the wins are modest. Following on the recent U.S. decision not to increase tariffs linked to Airbus, the general European view is that staving off a deterioration in relations is positive.
The tariff reductions remain modest against the backdrop of the Trump administration’s tariffs against Europe. The U.S. has imposed 25% tariffs on EU steel, 10% tariffs on their aluminum and an additional $7.5 billion worth of items have seen tariffs as part of a long-running dispute over subsidies of Airbus and Boeing.
The EU has imposed tariffs of its own on $3 billion worth of goods in response to the steel and aluminum tariffs and is awaiting a ruling from the World Trade Organization before imposing its own tariffs in the Airbus-Boeing dispute.
Despite Friday’s announcement, the U.S. continues to threaten further tariffs over proposed European tax schemes that would disproportionately tax American technology companies. The Trump administration has also never formally dropped its threat to impose tariffs on European car imports, saying that imported European automobiles are a threat to national security.
LIKE THE MUSIC NEVER CHANGES...