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Date: Fri, 25 Jan 2002 15:17:02 -0600
From: Audrey (by way of firstname.lastname@example.org)
Subject: [AM] Inside a Corporation
A weekly newsletter dedicated to the peaceful
reform of the United States government.
INSIDE A CORPORATION
The bigger they are, the harder they fall. The big news this week is the Chapter 11
bankruptcy filing of K Mart, and the public is wondering what will come next. Employees
are also wondering how they can transfer money held in 401K funds that are controlled by
their employers. While there is much sympathy for the people who have lost their life savings,
little sympathy is being expressed for the managers. In publications not owned or controlled
by corporations, some are telling the real story of the economic pillaging and amoral conduct
that is rampant among the multinational giants.
The Multinational Monitor has published a list of the worst corporations of 2001.
They list Abbott Laboratories, Argenbright, Bayer, Coca-Cola, Enron, Exxon-Mobil,
Philip Morris, Sara Lee, Southern Co., and Wal-Mart. This is why:
ABBOTT LABORATORIES paid a $875 million dollar fine for, among other things, encouraging
the billing of Medicare for free samples of Lupron (cancer drug) and providing lavish entertainment
and trips for doctors who were willing to prescribe Lupron in significant quantities.
ARGENBRIGHT, owned by the British firm Securicor, pled guilty in May of 2000 to two counts of
making false statements to federal regulators and paid $l.55 million in fines in connection with
charges that it failed on a massive scale to do background checks on security screeners employed
at Philadelphia International Airport.
BAYER has been charged with unlawfully paying three of its competitors a total of $200 million
to abandon efforts to bring cheaper generic versions of Cipro (Anthrax remedy) to the market.
Some have changed that tainted blood-clotting medicines sold to hemophiliacs by Bayer caused
many to contract AIDS.
The most serious charge against COCOA-COLA is complicity in the murders of trade union leaders
at the bottling plants of its affiliate in Colombia, Panamerican Beverages, Inc.
The American public is well aware of the executive rip-off by ENRON.
There is a long list of problems with EXXON-MOBIL. An Australian jury convicted
Essco (Australian unit of Exxon) in connection with a 1998 gas explosion which killed
two people. The company has also been charged with contracting with the Indonesian
military to provide security for its Arun natural gas project, security measures which have
resulted in gross violations of the human rights of native people.
PHILIP MORRIS is cited for their public pronouncements on the health risks of tobacco
smoking while continuing their aggressive marketing to young people.
SARA LEE paid only a $200,000 fine for causing the deaths of 21 people.
SOUTHERN is on the list for “the swirl of campaign cash and toxic ash surrounding the company.”
WAL-MART ...“identifies [labor] leaders in the organizing drive and....seeks to bribe them with
pay raises or promotions, or moves to fire them.” The full text of the article in the
December, 2001, issue is well worth reading.
Why do corporations act as they do? Corporations are managed and run for profit,
and social, moral, or environmental considerations are seldom discussed in the boardrooms.
In a typical meeting questions of policy are resolved by setting forth various possible courses
of action and then carefully examining the consequences. If it is a question of murder of a
union leader, as it obviously has been in Colombia, managers know they will not be caught
in the lawless anarchy in that country and that a hit man is so much cheaper than having to
pay union wages. If it is a question of shredding documents, it is likely that the penalty for
obstruction of justice is seen as less than the penalty for fraud. Risky behavior is weighed
in terms of dollars and cents and legal penalties, with some time given to public relations
considerations. The company must make a profit to stay in business. How to deal with
these giants? The answer is to make bad behavior very unprofitable, but that can’t happen
unless or until the United States Congress frees itself from its corporate master.
READ THIS NEWSLETTER AND THEN GIVE IT TO A FRIEND.
It is our hope that the information in this newsletter will be copied and distributed widely.
Topics covered are those which are not adequately treated on TV or in the press.
If you live in the 209 calling area end a request to 209 847-7588 for a free fax subscription.
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