Dr Pepper Snapple Group CEO Larry Young pocketed $6.5 million last year. But he thinks his employees at Mott's applesauce plant in Williamson, N.Y., should make $20,000 a year. So, the corporate conglomerate has been trying to cut $1.50 an hour--$3,000 a year--from the salaries of the 350 skilled workers, while freezing pensions and health care.
But there's no need to bring up CEO pay. Really. According to Dr Pepper Snapple Senior Vice President Robert Callan:
Executive pay is completely irrelevant to the discussion.
Really. More from Callan in this great segment from PBS:
The Williamson employees have enjoyed wages that have exceeded 50 percent of the market for a very long time. The best example I can give you is one of our forklift drivers at the Williamson facility makes $20 an hour. Local market in the Williamson area a forklift driver will make about $9.90 an hour--about $20,000 a year.
The Dr Pepper Snapple Group made $555 million in profits in 2009, another point that Thomas Culhane, a Mott's forklift operator, says is not irrelevant:
I don't think that's fair that a multimillion-dollar company can tell us...you guys have to accept all these cuts, when they are making money hand over fist.
Workers at the Mott's Williamson plant, who process half of the state's apples into juice or sauce, have been on strike since May in opposition to the corporate-imposed $1.50 hourly pay cut. A pay cut that mostly likely will line the pockets of the Texas-based CEOs.
Northeastern University economist Andrew Sum says Mott's, like most U.S. corporations, is keeping the profit.
It's not been reinvested in new capital equipment. It's not been used to help purchase new technology. So, this is the first time that we have ever had where basically all the gains in income went simply to corporate profits.
Take action to support Mott's workers. Go to www.NoBadApples.org and click on the Facebook Actions box.
And join others who are tweeting their support of the strikers to Mott's. Sign up to follow Mott's on Twitter at http://twitter.com/....