Thursday, October 25, 2012

Milwaukee Company Threatens Employees to vote Romney.

More corporate bullies are joining on to threaten your freedom to vote. The “will of the people” may soon become an anachronistic phrase laugh at by the oligarch’s.

Just after Bain Capital told Sensata employees to stop their protest, or see the plant closed down a month early, this news broke out of Milwaukee:
jsonline: Mike White, the chairman and owner of Rite-Hite, a major Milwaukee manufacturer of industrial equipment, told employees in an email this week that all employees "should understand the personal consequences to them of having our tax rates increase dramatically if President Obama is re-elected, forcing taxpayers to fund President Obama's future deficits and social programs (including Obamacare), which require bigger government."
With so many large corporate bosses sending out these not so veiled threats to their employees, is anyone in Washington paying attention? Those who have not followed this quickly developing story are completely outraged, conservatives and liberals alike:
The email stunned some employees. One employee said he felt threatened by the email. "It's a good company, but for this to come out, it's absurd," the employee said. The employee said even supervisors were surprised by the tone of the email.

White, a Summerfest board member and village trustee in the Village of River Hills, did not return several calls requesting comment. The firm employs an estimated 1,400 people worldwide.
I can’t help wondering if the following language will hold harmless the company’s involved. I doubt it. With big puppy dog eye’s they’re claiming they don’t want to “prejudice any employee for their political views and totally respect your right to vote as you choose. I am simply trying to present the facts as I know them and to protect the business you have helped build! Please think carefully about your vote on Nov. 6.”
In his email, White said the firm's retirement savings program contributions were based on after-tax profits. "The tax rate we pay is not 17%, as Warren Buffett would have you believe; with state taxes it is roughly 45%. President Obama has announced that our planned tax rate would increase to roughly 65%, reducing our after tax income by 36% and dramatically reducing, if not eliminating, your and my RSP contributions … White also wrote that Obama's re-election means there is a "good chance of losing Rite-Hite insurance and being put into Obamacare."
You have to wonder how companies grew and prospered in the 50’s and 60’s when taxes were dramatically higher. This is all a pretext to freeloading off Obamacare:
White explained that employers can continue their existing insurance plans or “pay a penalty and have employees go into the Government Plan. Our plan costs much more per family than the penalty and hence the possible competitive need to drop the Rite-Hite Health Plan. Every opportunity to make up for lost profits to taxes will have to be re-evaluated.”
Here's Ed Schultz with the story:

Not only that, White doesn't pay taxes on anything until he takes all his business right-offs first. But

White is also a hypocrite:
jsonline: John Vitek, a Milwaukee tax lawyer, said it was possible that the company's combined tax rate would be near 45%. "But I don't know where the 65% is coming from," he said.

And while White was critical of President Barack Obama's tax policies, government records indicate his firm was awarded a grant of $26,471 in economic stimulus money under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.

From WTDY: 
But according to Wisconsin law, it's illegal for an employer to threaten workers in order to influence their political opinions: Statute 12.07 (3)

No employer or agent of an employer may distribute to any employee printed matter containing any threat, notice or information that if a particular ticket of a political party or organization or candidate is elected or any referendum question is adopted or rejected, work in the employer's place or establishment will cease, in whole or in part, or the place or establishment will be closed, or the salaries or wages of the employees will be reduced, or other threats intended to influence the political opinions or actions of the employees.The email went on to tell employees that Obama's policies would threaten their pensions and healthcare.

Professor Gordon Lafer, with the Labor Education and Research Center at the University of Oregon, says laws like Wisconsin's were enacted to protect employees from feeling threatened.

"It seems to me that what this manufacturer has done is quite likely a violation of that law, maybe unknowingly, but there'e a good reason for the law," Lafer said. "What we want is that everybody who votes is maximally free to think whatever they want , to say whatever they want, to shout whatever they want, and to speak up in public. That's how democracy is supposed to work."

Lafer insists there is an implied threat in these kinds of emails.

"My boss is essentially telling me 'I'd better not see you wearing an Obama button or all those little perks that you need from me or your job security is going to be on the line,'" Lafer said. "Because that's what every normal person reads between the lines of that kind of language."

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