Chevron, which just posted a $4 billion after-tax profit, apparently felt way back in January that it couldn’t afford to pay its front line troops — the thousands of men and women that keep those lights burning in all those stations that welcome your blurry eyes at 3:00 am on the interstate — their well deserved quarterly bonuses.
As I’ve noted in another post, the total amount of these bonuses would account for only 0.000000177% of Chevron’s total operating budget.
It is sickening that the CEO, David J Reilly, makes the equivalent of $6,971 per hour while Chevron claims it can’t afford to pay the people who bust their asses daily to keep the company’s stations and stores functioning at peak efficiency 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.
The hypocrisy in Corporate America is nauseating. But what is more sickening is that Americans continue to put up with it.
I will be the first to state that the unions of this country are largely responsible for their own demise. Greed, corruption and gross incompetence have been the trademark of unions for the past half-century.
However, it is apparent that the American worker needs some kind of union. Just as capitalism, in and of itself, is a sound economic model (though the current form of it is sadly lacking), so too is there some need for protection against unbridled greed in the boardrooms of Corporate America.
In the weekly barrage of outrageous behavior by the captains of American business, this move by Chevron is small potatoes. Those men and women were counting on those well-deserved bonuses to take care of the little things of life like paying down bills, helping their kids at college, repairing their house or car, or simply taking a well-deserved vacation.
The way that Chevron’s management did this was so petty. They changed the status of each store behind the backs of their managers. So while their managers were busting their humps to make sure each criteria was met, both for the smooth operation of the store and station as well as the meeting of these criteria for their bonuses, Chevron’s senior management in San Ramon must have been laughing their collective fat white asses off, knowing the bonuses would be cut by as much as 75%.
Once again Corporate America’s words ring hollow. Its greatest asset isn’t its people.
Finally, when are we going to stop swallowing the bullshit about management being beholden to the shareholder? Management is one of the largest shareholders! O’Reilly holds approximately half a million shares of Chevron stock. Yes, he’s terribly concerned for the friggin’ shareholder – especially Mr. O’Reilly!
I’m reminded of the classic line from The Simpsons as John Lovitz’s character from The Critic (Jay Sherman) confronts Rainer Wolfcastle:
Jay: How do you sleep at night?!
Rainer: On a large bed of money, surrounded with beautiful women!
Jay: Just askin’…
I get the feeling it would be the same if we asked O’Reilly.