No Recovery, No Jobs, Part Four
Posted by politicalpartypooper on May 3, 2010
Allow me to introduce Exhibit ‘B’, Harley Davidson.
Before I begin breaking this segment down, you ought to know that I’m a Harley man. I own a 1992 Fatboy, which currently sits in parts in my shop…for the last five years. Harley Davidson is an icon where I live. Wisconsin is the home of Harley, so naturally, we pay attention to Harley news pretty closely.
Just last week, Harley Davidson execs decided to tell its Wisconsin employees it will leave Wisconsin if it cannot cut millions of dollars in costs.
But first, the good news. Harley’s CEO, Keith Wandell, not a motorcycle man, has officially been with the company for a year. He joined Harley Davidson in 2009, and paid himself $6,353,579 for nine months of work. Congratulations, Keith! I can’t wait to see how much it costs to get rid of you.
Back to the recent news about Harley leaving Wisconsin. A Wisconsin without Harley is like Green Bay without the Packers; it’s an alternate, evil universe where no one ever has any fun, but I digress.
This latest move by Harley Execs is just another money grab by those at the top. My proof? The average Harley worker in Wisconsin earns $32,048. Today, they are being asked to take a pay cut, or lose their job. This from a company that posted a $33 Million profit for the first quarter of 2010. After studying their financial report, the first thing that stood out to me was their eye-popping executive compensation. The top five earners at Harley Davidson all earned well over $2 Million for 2009. Even more earned $1 Million or more.
Then there is this statement from the USA Today:
But as the AP points out, Harley is having to contend with an aging customer base and overseas competition. The bigger opportunities may lie overseas for Harley.
And there it is! We have a winner! Ding ding ding ding ding!
“The bigger opportunities may lie overseas…”
Now where do you suppose USA Today got that idea? Could it be that someone high up at Harley whispered it to them, off the record? Hey! Let’s ship those jobs overseas, where we only have to pay $1 an hour! It will save millions, and we’ll all be rich, rich, rich! Right up until those 1,200 workers form a lynch mob outside your door. Good luck with that, Keith.
Let’s review our facts:
1. Keith Wandell hires on in May of 2009, and promptly pays himself $ 6.3 Million for nine months of work, two of which were probably vacation. Poor Keith. I’ll bet he can barely make ends meet with that spartan salary.
2. Harley stock prices drop like a rock in 2009, along with sales. The first quarter of 2010 is no better.
3. Keith Wandell decides that Wisconsin workers have to bear the brunt of cost cutting measures, and he immediately goes to them with a ultimatem; “Take a pay cut or lose your job”. 1,200 jobs are at risk of being lost.
The company claims they have to cut millions from operating costs. Let’s see, if the average worker at Harley earns $32,000, and there are 1,200 jobs at stake, giving them a negative raise of 25% would save $10 Million. That would leave the average worker earning $24,000, and Keith Wandell 291 times as much.
Remember when I said the top five (not including Wandell) all earn more than $2 Million? Pardon me, Keith, but if your company is struggling so badly, how can you afford to pay yourself $ 7 Million, and many more people more than $1 Million?
I’ll tell you what, Keith, I’ll take your job, pay myself $500,000, fire everyone earning over $1 Million, replace them with younger, more energetic, less costly people, and there will be our millions in savings. You tyrant.
There is plenty of room in America for wealthy people, but there’s absolutely no room in America for wealthy tyrants. Get a real job, Keith, and while you are at it, stop fucking up America’s economy by concentrating all of the wealth in the hands of a few people. Maybe if you knew how to do your job, sales would have returned in 2010. Oh well, at least your bonus isn’t performance dependent; there’s always that.
So…how much IS it going to take to get rid of you, Keith?