Statement by SEIU President Andy Stern on Obama Administration Plans to Limit Executive Pay at Firms Receiving Bailout Money

For Immediate Release

Contact: 

Kawana Lloyd: 202-730-7087

Statement by SEIU President Andy Stern on Obama Administration Plans to Limit Executive Pay at Firms Receiving Bailout Money

WASHINGTON - “Action to hold the big banks accountable on
outrageous executive pay is right on, but this is only the tip of the iceberg
of how they’re undercutting our economy.

“As we’ve seen with firms like Bank of
America/Merrill Lynch, not only do they take billions in taxpayer bailouts and
still allow bonuses, they’re also taking taxpayer money and working
against measures like the Employee Free Choice Act that would help hard-working
taxpayers gain a voice to help restore the middle class.

“Bank of America also takes as much as $50 million
from taxpayers year in and year out because their workers lack affordable
employer health care and must rely on publicly-funded programs instead.

“Excessive executive compensation goes hand in hand
with the low wages and lack of affordable healthcare that are an impossible
drain on the finances of working Americans and a huge drain on our economy.

“Building an economy with strength that can last means
the big banks not only have to bring down massive CEO salaries, they must also
do their fair share on health care, ending consumer exploitation, and ensuring
working people have the freedom to better share in the prosperity they help
create.”

A recent Huffington Post article reported on a conference
call that Bank of America hosted just three days after receiving $25 billion in
federal bailout funds to organize opposition to the Employee Free Choice Act. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/01/27/bank-of-america-hosted-an_n_161248.html

For a copy of SEIU’s recent report “Bank of
America: A Billionaire’s Boondoggle,” please contact Kawana Lloyd
at 202-730-7087. Here are other highlights:

  • Since 2004, Bank of America has
    laid off more than 34,000 workers. Bank of America recently announced
    up to another 30-35,000 job cuts in the next three years.
  • In 2006, Bank of America
    CEO Ken Lewis brought home $99.8 million in compensation. The median
    salary of a Bank of America teller is $23,597. Ken Lewis made more
    than 4,000 times as much as a Bank of America teller in 2006.
  • In the first nine months of
    2008, BofA and Merrill Lynch spent a combined $10 million on
    lobbying. 
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With 2 million members in Canada, the United States and Puerto Rico, SEIU is the fastest-growing union in the Americas. Focused on uniting workers in healthcare, public services and property services, SEIU members are winning better wages, healthcare and more secure jobs for our communities, while uniting their strength with their counterparts around the world to help ensure that workers—not just corporations and CEOs—benefit from today's global economy.

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