Tag Archives: ceo

Convicted Ex-Coal Boss Runs for Senate

Don Blankenship, who was CEO of Massey Energy Co. during the 2010 disaster at its Upper Big Branch Mine that killed 29 miners, is running for Senate in West Virginia.

Following an extensive government investigation, Blankenship was convicted of conspiracy to violate federal mine safety laws and served a year in prison in California. He unsuccessfully appealed the conviction all the way to the Supreme Court. Blankenship is currently under federal supervision as a condition of his conviction and is prohibited from leaving the state of Nevada until May 2018.

Blankenship will face West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey and Representative Evan Jenkins in the Republican primary. If he successfully wins the GOP nomination, he will face incumbent Democrat Joe Manchin, who was governor at the time of the disaster and was a leading figure denouncing Blankenship.

CWA Asks Corporations to Make Worker Pay Pledge

The Communications Workers of America (CWA) has asked companies where its members work (Verizon, AT&T, and six others) to pledge in writing that they will increase employee pay if Congress cuts corporate taxes. Specifically, CWA has asked for them to commit to giving workers a $4,000 raise for every year that the corporate rate is reduced to 20%.

“We are going straight to the people who know how corporations plan to spend the billions of dollars being handed over to them—the CEOs—and asking them if they intend to keep the promises that Trump is making on their behalf,” says CWA President Chris Shelton.

The Trump administration has claimed that, if the corporate tax rate were cut from 35% to 20%, a typical American would make $4,000 more per year. No companies were willing to make the pledge.

CIW Women’s Group Sends Letter to Wendy’s CEO

At a time when national attention is directed toward the sexual harassment and assault of women in Hollywood, the Coalition of Immokalee Workers (CIW) Women’s Group says gender-based violence in the fields remains largely overlooked. In early October, CIW sent a letter to Wendy’s CEO Todd Penegor, along with the company’s board chair and a major shareholder, calling attention to the sexual violence occurring in Wendy’s supply chain and requesting a meeting to discuss the issue. The letter called for Wendy’s participation in the Fair Food Program and questioned why Wendy’s had shifted from purchases in Florida, where Fair Food Program protections have largely eliminated sexual harassment and assault, to purchases in Mexico, where the abuses are rampant.

According to US statistics from the American Association of University Women, Langer Research Associates, and the Southern Poverty Law Center, 25% of all women as a whole, 65% of women on college campuses, and 80% of women in agricultural fields, have reported sexual harassment or assault in the workplace. CIW is a worker-based human rights organization which began with farmworkers in 1993.

Orchestra of St. Luke’s Names Executive Director

In mid-September, Orchestra of St. Luke’s (OSL) named James Roe its new president and executive director. Roe previously served as president and CEO of the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra.
Roe, an oboist and member of Local 802 (New York City), performed often with OSL and other New York City ensembles for 20 years. “Taking this role feels like coming home for me,” he says. “It is a great honor to be selected to lead this organization that I hold in such high regard.” Roe begins his new position with OSL on December 1.

Atlanta Symphony Orchestra Hires New CEO

Atlanta Symphony Orchestra (ASO) has hired Jennifer Barlament as its new CEO. Barlament has been general manager of The Cleveland Orchestra since 2013.

Her appointment brings her back to Atlanta, where she studied clarinet at Emory University. She earned her master’s degree from the Eastman School of Music. Prior to The Cleveland Orchestra, she held positions at the Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra and Omaha Symphony.

ASO’s previous CEO, Stanley Romanstein, resigned October 2014 during the two-month lockout that delayed the start of the season. Terry Neal, an ASO board member and retired Coca-Cola executive, stepped in as interim CEO and made impressive progress in getting the orchestra on a successful track.

“Terry Neal has done a great job rebuilding and solidifying our management team over this past year with regard to marketing and operations,” says Bruce Kenney, president of Local 148-462 (Atlanta, GA) and an ASO musician. “The financial rebuilding plan is working and he continues to push it even further ahead of schedule, while showing great care and appreciation for the music. Jennifer Barlament has a much better chance to succeed thanks to the progress made by Terry.”

Trade Deals Need to Work for Workers, not CEOs


Even though Congress pulled some last-minute political maneuvering to get Fast Track passed last month—we beat all the odds and changed the game. Despite arm-twisting from corporations and the 1%, Congress nearly defeated Fast Track thanks to pressure that millions of working Americans put on their legislators.

In the coming months, as the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP)—the biggest trade deal in the history of US trade deals—moves forward, Congress will have to vote on it. Working Americans need to stand together to make sure the TPP doesn’t sell out working people here and abroad, give foreign corporations special privileges to sue US taxpayers to recover lost profits, nor undermine efforts to stop climate change.

“We need to carry this momentum forward and tell our lawmakers to focus on policies to raise wages, so millions of working families don’t have to worry about putting food on the table or keeping a roof over their heads. And one way to do that is to ensure that the final TPP is as good for working people as President Obama has said it is,” says AFL-CIO Trade and Globalization Policy Specialist Celeste Drake.

Tell US Trade Representative Michael Froman and President Barack Obama to make trade deals work for working people and not CEOs by signing the petition at: https://actionnetwork.org/petitions/trade-deals-must-work-for-working-people.