Sunday, May 14, 2017
Much of the ire was directed at Bradley Jacobs, XPO's chief executive officer, who was in attendance at the meeting held at the company's headquarters here. Jacobs was on the receiving end of a recent $20 million "mega-grant," a pay giveaway that caused leading independent proxy advisor Institutional Shareholders Services (ISS) to recently issue its opposition to XPO's advisory vote on executive pay, the so-called "Say-on-Pay" vote, that was voted on today.
"It is time for XPO CEO Bradley Jacobs to explain to company workers why he is entitled to a huge payout while he cuts the health care and retirement benefits of workers who are making this company so successful," said Monica Abraham, a quality control inspector for XPO in North Haven, Conn. who spoke at the shareholder meeting. "Workers shouldn't be punished while Jacobs gets rich off our backs!"
ISS also previously recommended investors support a Teamsters-sponsored shareholder resolution calling for enhanced disclosure of XPO's human capital management performance, among other sustainability practices. Voting results on both items were not immediately made available.
Teamsters General Secretary-Treasurer Ken Hall said both proposals should be of interest to investors. "Shareholders have good reason to be concerned when it comes to excessive CEO pay and XPO's corporate practices," he said. "Its corporate practices are not in their best interests."
Meanwhile, European workers for the company said the fight against corporate greed and for fairness on the job is not only necessary for American workers. XPO is increasing engaging in anti-union worker behavior in Europe as well.
"It is ridiculous that Bradley Jacobs refuses to answer to his own employees about his company's corporate practices that imperil their livelihoods," said Sam McIntosh, a lead organizer with the International Transport Workers Federation. "European XPO workers stand in solidarity with their American compatriots because they too know the effects of the company's increasingly shady business practices."
U.S. workers have asked to meet with Jacobs on several occasions, to no avail. XPO is one of the world's largest global third-party logistics companies, providing transportation and logistical services to 63 percent of Fortune 100 companies.
The bill is co-sponsored in the Senate by Senators Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.), Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.), Al Franken (D-Minn.), Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), Gary Peters (D-Mich.), Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.) and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.).
Senators Bernie Sanders and Tammy Baldwin, joined by the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers, the National United Committee to Protect Pensions and the Pension Rights Center, introduce the Keep Our Pension Promises Act. The act would reverse a provision passed in 2014 that could result in deep pension cuts for millions of retirees and workers in multi-employer pension plans.
“We have got to send a very loud and clear message to the Republican leadership in Congress and the president of the United States. When a promise is made to the working people of this country with respect to their pensions and retiree health benefits, that promise cannot be broken,” Sanders said. “If Congress could bail out Wall Street and foreign banks throughout the world, we certainly can protect the pension benefits of American workers.”
“Pensions are deferred income and retirees are owed these earned benefits. My bill with Senator Sanders ensures that we do right by our people," Kaptur said. "I thank the cosponsors of the Keep Our Pension Promises Act in the House and Senate and I urge the rest of my colleagues to come to the table and support this bill. I will fight every day to defend retirees. No matter where retirees draw their retirement, whether it is a pension, a 401k or Social Security, Americans deserve financial stability and security in their older years."
In December 2014, Congress approved and the president signed a spending bill that included provisions that allow for dramatic cuts to financially troubled multi-employer pensions. Under this provision, the pension benefits of retirees could be cut by 30 percent or more. Before the law was changed, it was illegal for an employer to cut the pension benefits retirees have earned.
The new legislation establishes a legacy fund within the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation to ensure that multi-employer pension plans can continue to provide pension benefits to every eligible American for decades to come. This legislation is paid for by closing two tax loopholes that allow the wealthiest Americans to avoid paying their fair share of taxes.
Sanders, Baldwin and Franken announced the legislation at a news conference where they were joined by representatives of the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers, the National United Committee to Protect Pensions and the Pension Rights Center.
“It’s time for Washington to respect the hard work of American workers and make sure that the promises made to them are kept,” Baldwin said. “A secure retirement is a central pillar of economic security for our working class. The Keep Our Pensions Promise Act ends a loophole and tax break for the wealthy so we can protect the retirement security families have worked for, planned for and depend on.”
Reps. Kaptur, Debbie Dingell (D-Mich.), Rick Nolan (D-Minn.), John Yarmouth (D-Ky.) and Tim Ryan (D-Ohio) held events in their districts today in support of the plan.