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12/09/2004

Top Five Corporate Grinches of 2004

To simply call this list the Top 5 Grinches of 2004 is an understatement, but out of respect to some readers who read this blog I will refrain from my vulgarity-filled opinions about these examples of CORPORATE TRASH.

5. Cintas - For a uniform cleaning company this corporation seems to have a lot of dirty laundry: Cintas has been fined numerous times for failing to pay minimum wage and overtime, over 40 discrimination lawsuits have been filed against Cintas,in Feb. 2003 over 75 complaints of labor law violations were filed against Cintas and countless reports of thug-style anti-organizing tactics.

4. Quebecor World - This printing giant is amid some of the worst workplace allegations since the turn of the century that include: mandatory 70 hour work weeks, denied overtime pay, safety violations, vicious anti-organizing tactics, threatening employees, supervisors sexually harassing female hourly workers, below industry standard pay for certified and degree carrying workforce and the list goes on and on.

3. Massey Energy - Massey's CEO Don Blankenship nauseatingly, Blankenship created a 527 named "And For the Sake of the Kids." He purchased loads of TV ads and had nice-lady recorded voices calling homes multiple times to spread smears about Warren McGraw, who earlier, as a legislator, had opposed strip mining. Blankenship supported Brent Benjamin, a virtually unknown coal industry lawyer, in a campaign that garnered national attention for its nastiness. Looks like Blankenship has bought himself a Supreme Court Judge! What can you do with your own state supreme court judge? Anything you want is the answer.

2. Wal-Mart - I don't think I need to explain this one since its no-brainer.

and the number one Corporate Grinch (aka corporate trash) of 2004

1. Horizon Natural Resources - This one was an easy choice for me since its kind of personal and I knew so many affected by Horizon's despicable actions. In August of this year Horizon was granted full bankruptcy clemency to void union contracts and erase a sizable portion of their debt, thus leaving nearly 5,000 coal miners, including thousands of retirees without health care (many of whom suffering from black lung as result for 30-40 years service working for Horizon) and slashed pensions. The pentacle moment that sent myself and others in to seeing RED was when the Associated Press and the United Mine Workers of America International President Cecil Roberts reported Horizon's lawyers were "high fiving each other and laughing" when U.S. Federal Judge William S. Howard caved in to the company's requests. The Horizon bankruptcy case has set a dangerous precendent and now all companies can void union contracts and can have no obligation to workers/retirees pensions and health care benefits. Several airline companies have been reported to be looking at how Horizon handled their bankruptcy case and will probably follow suit next year. To add insult to injury, the new President of Horizon was given a $10,000 annual raise after the bankruptcy case and Massey Energy plans to open up one of the mines sold in the public auction of Horizon's assets non-union.

So Horizon for the lives you've ruined and the communities and local economies you've destroyed...you've earned the top spot on our list.

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