CEOs Sing a
New Tune, But
Action Must Follow
By Stuart Appelbaum, President
Retail, Wholesale and Department
Store Union, UFCW
Business Roundtable — a lobbying organization
made up of almost 200 chief executives from
Apple, Walmart, JP Morgan Chase, and many
more of the world’s largest companies — released a
statement in August that proports to change the role of corporations in our
society. The statement declares that American corporations should promote
“an economy that serves all Americans.”
On the surface, it’s a welcome about-face from the “free-market”
corporate identity established in the late 1960s where profit and “shareholder
primacy” were the overpowering motivations for corporate America, often at
the expense of workers, communities, and the environment.
The results have had a staggering effect; Over the past five decades, the
top 1 percent of American earners have nearly doubled their share of national
income. The real value of American wages has flatlined, failing to keep up
with increased productivity. And pay for top CEOs is now hundreds of times
that of the pay of their employees.
So, it’s good to see some of the world’s richest CEOs say they are now
dedicated to compensating employees fairly and providing them with
important benefits while supporting communities and embracing
environmentally friendly practices. It’s refreshing to see corporate America
declare its dedication to diversity and inclusion and treating workers with
dignity and respect. This is language that American workers, and the labor
movement, agree with.
We all know, however, that talk is different than action. What the
Business Roundtable didn’t say was specifically how corporate America is
going to change. Income inequality was not addressed in the statement;
neither was obscene CEO pay, nor changes in the way companies and
management approach labor relations and politics.
Since the late 1960s, when corporate America embraced a draconian freemarket,
profit-first ethos, union membership has fallen at a steady rate. So too
has worker pay and benefits. This is no accident. Corporations have consistently
used all of the resources at their disposal to fight workers’ wishes to organize,
and to politically hurt unions. With few exceptions, corporations have done
everything they can over the past 50 years to ensure that workers lose their
union voice — the very “dignity and respect” they now claim to support.
When companies agree not to fight their workers by bringing in
expensive union-busting “consultants” and don’t intimidate or threaten their
employees, workers choose the dignity and respect afforded by union
The statement by the Business Roundtable is a step in the right direction;
but so far, it counts only as good PR. American corporations need to lead the
way by ending their half-century war against unions and their own workers.
The signatories of the Business Roundtable statement can show it’s not just
talk by agreeing to workplace neutrality and allowing their employees to join
unions without interference or intimidation. It would be a
striking change, especially considering that companies
like Amazon and Walmart, both of whom signed the
statement, have historically been virulently antiunion.
That’s how true change will be achieved,
and how America’s corporations can fulfill their
new stated purpose.
BRONX TIMES REPORTER, AUGUST 3 20 0-SEPTEMBER 5, 2019 BTR
Footage of the fi rst incident on Morris Avenue from Saturday, July 6 was captured on camera.
Photo courtesy of DCPI
Investigation ongoing of
46th Pct. robbery pattern
BY STEVEN GOODSTEIN
Two individuals are currently being
pursued by the NYPD for a pattern
of robbery incidents that took place
The NYPD is currently asking for
the public’s assistance in identifying
two males who were allegedly involved
in two robbery-related incidents in the
west Bronx in a three-day period back
in early July.
The fi rst incident occurred on Saturday,
July 6 at approximately 7:15
p.m., when two males in their mid-20s
were sitting in front of 2081 Morris
Avenue, between East Burnside Avenue
and East 181st Street, when two
unidentifi ed individuals, both males,
approached them, displayed a fi rearm
and demanded property.
The two victims complied and relinquished
$200, jewelry and a cell
phone. The armed individuals apparently
then fl ed the location in a doubleparked
white Hyundai SUV on Morris
Avenue. No injuries were reported as a
result of this incident.
The second incident took place two
days later at about 4:15 a.m. on Monday,
July 8 at 23 E. Tremont Avenue,
just two blocks south from the fi rst incident
and also within the confi nes of
the 46th Precinct.
That morning, a 65-year old male
was walking across the street when
one of the individuals from the fi rst incident
grabbed the victim’s necklace
and knocked him to the ground.
The victim initially held on to his
necklace but relinquished it when the
individual drew a fi rearm. The other
individual also displayed a fi rearm
while attempting to remove the victim’s
necklace, but was unsuccessful.
The second individual then fi red
a shot at the victim but missed, before
both of the individuals fl ed in the
white Hyundai SUV in an unknown
direction. The victim sustained minor
cuts and bruises from falling on the
To add insult to injury, the two individuals
were reported to have been
involved in another robbery in Manhattan’s
Hudson Heights just 20 minutes
earlier. In that incident, the two
men approached a 31-year old male and
again displayed a fi rearm demanding
property as he was walking in the
lobby at 4395 Broadway.
The victim complied and the males
fl ed the scene with $3,000, jewelry
and a cell phone. No injuries were reported.
Community Board 5 chairman, Dr.
Bola Omotosho, said that he was aware
of the robbery pattern and that it is “a
major concern for the neighborhood
as well as the merchants in the area.”
He added that an NYPD vehicle is frequently
stationed on Jerome and West
Burnside avenues to deter similar activities,
as well as theft and looting
from taking place.
The offi ce of the Deputy Commissioner,
Public Information also provided
footage of the fi rst scenario,
which shows the two individuals
jumping in the white Hyundai SUV after
the incident. It is unknown if they
were accompanied by other individuals
in the vehicle. DCPI confi rmed that
the investigation is ongoing.
The 46th Precinct did not return request
Anyone with information in regards
to the identity of the two individuals
is asked to call the NYPD’s
Crime Stoppers Hotline at 1-800-577-
TIPS (8477) or submit their tips at the
Crime Stoppers website at www.nypdcrimestoppers.
com or on Twitter @
NYPDTips. All calls are kept strictly