Buzzfeed reports that shareholders at Domino’s Pizza are questioning the pay of CEO Patrick Doyle, whose pay is $43 million over 3 years. The groups leading the protest are not simply do-gooders. They want the best results from their investments. One member of the group says that most of the money can be paid up front with no consideration of company performance or profit. These shareholders, whatever their motivation, are holding a CEO and his friends on the Board to the fire. It’s about time. For too long, only working people have been targets. It’s time to hold the highest of the high accountable for their performance.
Apparently, college football players do. Think Progress reports that the National College Players Association has filed a petition on behalf of football players from Northwestern University to be recognized as members of a union. This effort is being support by the United Steelworkers Union.
I’ve long believed that college athletes who generate millions of dollars for their universities deserve some kind of compensation, and I have no problem with their organizing. However, it says a lot about our country when this story gets so much attention while the ongoing effort of low wage workers at Walmart and similar companies is almost ignored. Public sectors unions are under fire at the Supreme Court, again, with little or no coverage.
Until working people recognize that we are all in this together, it will be easy for the super rich and their lackeys in politics and the media to play games of divide and conquer. I hope low wage workers stand with college athletes in their struggle for union right. And I hope college athletes do the same for the people who serve them at fast food restaurants and big box retail stores. On this day that has seen the passing of the great Peter Seeger, a man who loved working people, we need to all stand together and support unions.
Aljazeera America reports that McDonald’s has taken down a controversial website that offered “helpful” advice to low wage employees. In the recent past, the website has come under fire for advising employees to earn money selling things on E-Bay and how to tip a pool cleaner. The final straw hit close to home for the hamburger giant when the website, which is operated by a third party, told employees to stop eating fast food because it was unhealthy. Something tells me that the company responsible for that bit of wisdom no longer works for McDonald’s.
Rather than try to tell low wage workers how to live on less, companies like McDonald’s should be leaders in paying a living way. Would food cost more at the restaurant? It would. Would investors earn less on McDonald’s? Probably. Might franchise owners and corporate leaders need to take a pay cut? They would. Those are the costs. What about the benefits? Low wage workers would be pumping more into the economy. McDonald’s would be able to recruit better talent. Rather than give employees bad advice about how to live on less, it’s time to pay a living wage.
Tony Rohr managed a Pizza Hut Restaurant. He worked for the company for more than 10 years. When the corporate office ordered him to open on Thanksgiving, Rohr refused, arguing that his workers deserved to have the holiday off. Corporate didn’t agree, and they fired Rohr. Asked if he has regrets about his actions, Rohr answered, "No, not at all," he said. "I'm glad I did that."
Tony Rohr should be an example and hero for us this Thanksgiving. Pizza Hut is a turkey.