Posts Tagged ‘banks’

[original post 9/11/2010]

In the six days that followed the attacks on September 11th, the New York Stock Exchange was closed for the first and longest time ever since the Great Depression and World War I.  The markets would reopen on September 17th, but to quite a rocky start.  During the immediate aftermath of the attacks, the heartbeat of our nation’s economy stopped, suspended in time.  And a forgotten class of Wall Street workers faced the difficult decision of whether or not to return to work. Those who did would return to a completely different world, one that had already changed them forever.  And today, nine years later, many of them are still there.  In a polarized political environment where the bad behavior of a few has unfairly demonized all of Wall Street’s workers, their contributions to our post-9/11 recovery have been largely ignored.  But had these workers made the choice back in 2001 never to return again, what might have happened?  This is one story, out of many, of the courage, determination and dignity of an entire class of forgotten patriots who stood by their country in the aftermath of September 11th, 2001 when it would have been so easy to simply walk away.

 

Nine years ago, my brother Will was working for a Wall Street brokerage firm just steps away from what is now known as Ground Zero.  His office building overlooked Trinity Church on one side and the World Trade Center on the other.  Just on the other side of the river, near his home in Hoboken, NJ, he boarded the PATH train every day, bound for the bustling station at the World Trade Center.  Like so many others, he went to work on September 11th thinking that day would be just like any other.

Just before 8:46 am as Will was settling into his day with his co-workers, a loud, screeching sound of shearing metal boomed just outside their building.  He looked up at the trading desk manager, and both were stunned.  Will thought it might be a high rise construction accident; the desk manager suspected an explosion.

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[original post 4/8/2010]

I don’t know about you, but my benefits are shrinking and my wages have been reduced for 2010. And I certainly won’t be seeing any major increase in my salary this year.  My employer is struggling in this economy.  I know it, I see the sales and operating numbers.  Amazingly, no one in our company has complained once about the state of their salaries and benefits.  And after a recent round of layoffs, we’re all working two and three people’s jobs, too.  But we get it, we’re all a team, and together we have to do what we can to pitch in and help cut costs during a rough patch in time.  That’s just how business works.

Every single friend, family member, and neighbor I know is in the exact same position.

That’s why so many of us are appalled at the behavior of some of the union bosses these days.  Even some of the most ardent union defenders I know (the few people who typically argue with me over union policy) have had enough with all the headlines like this:

As National Bargaining for 100,000 Union Members at Kaiser Permanente Begins… SEIU-UHW Members Tell Kaiser: Keep Your Hands Off Our Healthcare Benefits

And they have also had enough of behavior like this:

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[original post 1/27/2010]

We saw their fury throughout 2009:  “Capitalism is Dead”, “Kill the Corporation”, “Bust Up Big Banks”, “Greed Kills”, “Bank of America, Bad for America”.  The Service Employees International Union (SEIU) led an all-out assault on Wall Street – and on capitalism and corporations – coining words and phrases that have since become common staples in the vocabulary of the bank-bashing craze.  That fury hit a fever pitch last March when word of the AIG bonuses went public.  It was the SEIU out in front of the protests, at AIG offices, and bussing protestors to the homes of AIG executives.

AIG_Rally_AndyStern_March19

The months that followed saw more of the same.  In April, SEIU hailed the ousting of General Motors CEO Rick Wagoner.  That same week, it stepped up its battleplan with the Mother of all Corporate Campaigns against Ken Lewis, Bank of America CEO and Chairman – complete with videos, rolling billboards, smear sites, petition drives, letter campaigns, media blitzes and more, while it placed equal attention on Bank of America, forcing the company to respond with a $40 million image boosting campaign of television and print ads.

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