Friday, December 08, 2006

Vote for the Grinch of the Year

Jobs With Justice's annual contest to name the corpoRat Grinch of the Year.

Vote now in the sixth annual online Grinch of the Year election to determine the national figure who does the most harm to working families. The candidates are:

  • SMITHFIELD Tar Heel Division CEO Joseph Luter III
  • GOODYEAR Tire & Rubber Company
  • OR Write in your own candidate


Why those two?

Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company

Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company forced 15,000 USW members out on strike at 16 plants across North America on October 5, 2006. Despite concessions given by United Steelworkers (USW) members and retirees in 2003 to insure that Goodyear remained in business, Goodyear is now insisting on additional plant closings and even deeper concession in this round of bargaining.


  • USW concessions in 2003 contributed to a billion dollar turnaround at Goodyear;
  • Goodyear wants to turn their backs on the USW retirees who built their company;
  • Goodyear is now recruiting and using scabs to staff their plants even though experts say that tires built by scabs contributed to the 271 deaths associated with rollovers of Ford Explorers;
  • Goodyear wants to outsource more American jobs to China where Goodyear workers earn only 42 cents an hour;
  • Goodyear is abandoning America’s workers, retirees and communities;

Goodyear deserves to be awarded the “Grinch of the Year” award, reserved for the most despicable company in North America.

Smithfield's Tar Hell Division CEO Joseph Luter III

Smithfield operates the largest pork slaughterhouse in the world. Located in Southeastern North Carolina, Smithfield’s Tar Heel plant employs 5,500 workers and kills and dismembers over 32,000 hogs each day.

But that’s not all Smithfield does. Smithfield operates a dangerous workplace, forcing its workers who have not been adequately trained to work at exceedingly fast line speeds while making repetitive hand motions in processing the pork. Every day, workers are injured, harassed, intimidated, and threatened by Smithfield management.

Smithfield maintains an environment of fear and intimidation. For over ten years now, workers have fought relentlessly for a voice on the job. In 1994 and 1997, workers tried to hold a union election but were met with the coercive fist of Smithfield. After the vote count at the 1997 election, one union supporter and one union organizer were dragged out of the plant, beaten, insulted with racial epithets, and arrested.

For five years, from 2000-2005, Smithfield had it own police force with the state police power to make arrests on Smithfield property. And arrests it made. During its brief stint as a police force, the Smithfield Company Police arrested over 90 workers.

Smithfield is also known to have exploited racial tensions, having in the past physically segregated African-American and Latino workers in the plant. In 2004, the Company threatened Latino workers with arrest by federal immigration authorities. Although Smithfield was brought to court over their labor abuses and found to have committed violations of the National Labor Relations Act, Smithfield continues to deny the legitimacy of the 2004 National Labor Relations Board decision and order which was affirmed by the DC Circuit Court of Appeals.

As Smithfield pays poverty wages to its employees and fails to provide adequate treatment to injured workers, Former CEO and current Chairman of the Board, Joseph Luter III, takes in $83,333.33 each month in a base salary just for consulting Smithfield. Under the terms of Luter’s contract, he is also entitled to use the company jet and receives cash incentive awards. Even in retirement, Luter is afforded a lavish lifestyle.

While Luter revels in the benefits granted to Smithfield’s upper echelon, the workers in Tar Heel are forced to bear the burden of Luter’s indulgent activities. For this reason, and countless others too numerous to mention, Joseph Luter III of Smithfield deserves the title of Grinch of the Year.

Make your voice heard. VOTE!


zeul said...

Hey there - the link isn't working right. Should link to

Woody Guthrie's Guitar (aka Konopelli) said...

thanks, i fixed it...