Nearly 200 local residents joined City Councilors Felix Arroyo and Tito Jackson at Roxbury’s Hibernian Hall Thursday to speak out against what they call failed Romney-Bain economics. Just hours before Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney delivered his official acceptance speech in Tampa, the sizeable delegation of working families and seniors back home in Boston told the real story of Romney’s record as Massachusetts governor and CEO of Bain Capital.
From seniors and healthcare workers worried about Romney’s attempts to end Medicare and Medicaid to workers from Bain-owned companies, the [NO!]mination Convention featured a parade of former constituents and employees painted a dark picture of what a Romney-Bain economy could mean for the rest of the country.
“My co-workers and I have first-hand experience with the Romney-Bain economy. They do everything they can to keep us close to minimum wage with no benefits – and when that’s not enough, they just refuse to pay us for the hours we work,“ said Simara Martinez, a Dorchester who works for Bain-owned Dunkin’ Donuts. “It’s like modern-day slavery, and if we don’t speak out now it could be too late.”
Mitt Romney has built his presidential candidacy on a host of claimed successes in government and business. But his record as Governor of Massachusetts paints an entirely different picture – one where constituents were saddled with more than $2.6 billion in new debt and saw the state fall to 47th in job creation. Massachusetts lost 40,000 manufacturing jobs during Romney’s tenure, in addition to call center and other state jobs he outsourced to India. Those who toiled under Romney’s Bain Capital fared even worse, as thousands were sent to the unemployment lines as their jobs were shipped overseas to China and India. The few employees that remained were subjected to a ‘worker-exploitation-for-profit’ model that slashed pay and benefits, reduced hours, forced off-the-clock work and committed outright wage theft.
“He may talk a big game, but when it comes to jobs, it would be hard to find someone with a worse record than Mitt Romney,” said Olivé Hendricks, a Roslindale ironworker who has had a tough time finding consistent work since the economic downturn hit the construction industry. “When Romney was governor, we were almost dead-last in job creation – and now he’s trying to kill all the bills that create jobs at the federal level. We just can’t afford a Romney-Bain economy.”
Thursday’s [NO!]mination Convention followed days of protests at the Republican National Convention in Tampa, where Fitzpatrick, Martinez and other local Bain workers joined hundreds of others in speaking out against the harmful effects of the Romney-Bain economic agenda.
MASSUNITING activists stood alongside members of the Youth Jobs Coalition Wednesday to call attention to yet another way Bain Capital has damaged the American economy. While already notorious for shuttering factories, shipping jobs overseas and bankrupting US companies for profit, Bain now adds another blemish to that long list of harmful practices: preventing youth employment.
Ignoring the rain, activists rallied outside Bain Capital’s headquarters at the John Hancock Tower to call out major Boston-area corporations that refuse to hire young people – firms like Bain, Ernst & Young and Putnam Investments. Despite growing pressure from advocates and community leaders, the trio refuse to step up to give Hub youth a chance to advance their lives and learn important professional skills.
MASSUNITING’s Carlha Toussaint spoke out about the work environment at Dunkin’ Donuts, a Bain-owned company that attempts to keep all of its employees at or close to the meager minimum wage of $8.00 per hour. Carlha shared a story about opportunities lost because she couldn’t find a job with sufficient wages or hours to pay for her college textbooks, let alone bigger-ticket items like rent or car payments. “I’m a hard worker, and I put 100 percent of myself into whatever I do – but it’s impossible to make ends meet at ten hours a week at minimum wage,” she said. “I’m just asking that companies like Bain Capital return the investment and put some faith in me.
Carlha is one of only 39 percent of Massachusetts youth who have been able to find employment. Surveys show that 84 percent of Boston-based companies of over 100 employees still refuse to hire teens or young adults, leaving thousands of young people in search of jobs. Companies like Bain could make a serious impact on improving these individuals’ lives and economic conditions, if only they would allow young people the opportunity to work and learn in their offices.
Representatives from Bain and Ernst & Young have so far refused to meet with Youth Jobs Coalition members to discuss these critical issues, but the group is far from backing down. Event organizers promised to ramp up their efforts to draw attention to the firms’ wrongheaded policies in the coming months.
Last Wednesday, members of Boston’s State Street Corporation’s board (NYSE: STT) “got a taste of what pundits are calling the ‘Shareholder Spring,’” according to the Boston Business Journal’s Galen Moore.
A group of nearly 50 shareholders were forcibly removed from State Street Corporation’s (NYSE: STT) annual Shareholder Meeting May 16, after raising concerns over the company’s so-called “economic crimes against the 99%.”
Watch the video:
Shareholders confronted State Street CEO Jay Hooley over the corporation’s predatory business practices — including tax dodging, job killing, prison profiteering and harming pensions and investors.
The Boston Globe wrote:
“‘What are you going to do for poor people in our community?’ asked Gladys Vega, executive director of the Chelsea Collaborative, a community organizing group. Vega cited the $2 billion in federal bailout funds State Street received in 2008 and the large tax refund the firm received in 2010 after losses on bad investments.”
MassUniting members also alleged that State Street “has outsourced thousands of jobs, defrauded pension funds, invested in for-profit prison companies, and lobbied lawmakers on issues that hurt consumers.”
Editor’s Note: This post below is from Jason Stephany, a member of the MassUniting Economic Crimes Unit:
Tax dodging. Job killing. Prison profiteering. These are just a few of the many “economic crimes” that are being committed against the 99% every day.
There is no such thing as “crimes against the 99%” under Massachusetts or Federal law, but given all the harm they’ve done to the 99%, there ought to be.
In boardrooms from Wall Street to the West Coast, major corporations are hatching new schemes to line their pockets at the expense of low and middle-income families, destroying communities across the country in the process.
Here in Massachusetts, State Street Bank is one of the worst offenders – exploiting loopholes to take $1.88 billion from taxpayers, eliminating thousands of jobs through outsourcing and offshoring, and investing tens of millions in private, for-profit prisons and detention centers.
Fortunately, MassUniting’s “Economic Crime Unit” is on the scene – shining a light on the worst offenses of State Street Bank and their fellow corporate giants. We’re working hard every day to hold Wall Street and corporate executives accountable for the harm they’ve done to our communities, and we need your help.
Watch this video below:
Over the last month, we’ve seen thousands of people take to the streets to call out big companies like General Electric, Wells Fargo and Bank of America for their “economic crimes against the 99%.” Yet right here in Massachusetts, State Street Bank has managed to avoid accountability for their own actions – from tax dodging to job killing.
The MassUniting “Economic Crime Unit” is working to turn the tables on these corporate abusers, but we need your help.
This Wednesday at State Street’s shareholders meeting, we’ll work to expose State Street’s “economic crimes against the 99%. Join us here.
from MassUniting in Massachusetts:
In the last year, the top five Big Oil companies raked in $137,000,000,000 in profit. And with skyrocketing gas prices, you can only imagine how much that $137 billion profit will grow by the end of 2012.
Record profits like these really make you wonder why anyone would want to hand out billions of our tax dollars to oil firms like BP, Chevron, ExxonMobil, ConocoPhillips and Royal Dutch Shell. Yet last week, Senator Scott Brown voted to hand another $24 billion in taxpayer money to the most profitable Big Oil companies in the world.
Sadly, this isn’t the first time Scott Brown has sided with wealthy corporations over his Bay State constituents. In fact, this is the third time Brown has sold us out to Big Oil alone – costing us billions in revenue that could have been used to invest in schools, fix crumbling roads and bridges, and put people back to work.
But why did he do it? With budget shortfalls affecting everything from MBTA service to meals for homebound seniors, why did Scott Brown vote to subsidize some of the most profitable corporations in the world with our tax dollars? Did his vote have anything to with the $200,000 these Big Oil companies gave to Brown’s campaign?
Senator Brown may be the only one with answers to these questions, but we know one thing for certain – Massachusetts can’t afford any more of Brown’s Big Oil tax giveaways. He may think his votes to line the pockets of Big Oil with our tax dollars will go unnoticed, but we’re not going to let that happen.
We may not have $200,000 to buy a senator’s vote, let alone $137 billion in our bank accounts. But together, we can make sure our neighbors see who Scott Brown really is: a senator who would rather stand with Big Oil than his constituents back home.
Let’s show Senator Brown and his friends in Big Oil that Massachusetts is watching – and we won’t put up with their tax giveaways anymore. Click here to share this message with your friends and family today.