For Immediate Release
Christy Setzer, 617-512-7572
Ali Jost, (202) 730-7159
SEIU on AIG Bonus Requests: You've Got to Be Kidding Us
SEIU Demands AIG Halt Million-Dollar Bonuses for Top Execs
WASHINGTON - Today,
the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), who staged nationwide
protests over AIG bonuses in March, demanded that AIG halt the millions
in bonuses they are seeking to give top executives. Additionally, SEIU
took aim at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, who has consistently defended
the bonus pay-outs.
"Even after snagging billions in
bailout money, AIG still has its hand out to struggling taxpayers, and
the U.S. Chamber is right beside them rattling the can," said Andy
Stern, SEIU International President. "The greedy CEOs who tanked our
economy don't need another million-dollar bonus, but working families
do need an economy that works for everyone. AIG needs to halt its
insane request to reward themselves once more, and the US Chamber needs
to give up its role as chief defender of the broken system."
In a Fox News Sunday interview last
month, Chamber president Thomas Donohue defended the bonuses. In answer
to interviewer Chris Wallace's question, "So are you saying if AIG
wants to give million-dollar bonuses, so be it?" Donohue answered:
I'm saying if -- AIG is in a lot of trouble, but I'm
saying if it took the right people to fix AIG, you're going to have to
pay them. Same thing right here in this network. You know, if you lost
your -- you couldn't pay your very best people, I'm not sure they'd
stay. They'd probably go to another network.
This news comes just one week after Citigroup announced it is also raising salaries by as much as 50 percent for investment bankers and other top executives, to accommodate for smaller annual bonuses.
"Even as average Americans scrimp
and save, there continues to be this poisonous culture in corporate
America, that says that greed and corruption and ‘what's in it for me'
are all acceptable," continued Stern. "We don't believe it is. We
believe that it's time to hold corporate executives accountable, and
create an economy that works for average Americans. That's why we're
working hard to pass the Employee Free Choice Act, which would give
workers a voice on the job, and allow them to bargain with their
employers for job security, better wages and benefits."
In March, SEIU organized nationwide
protests during which they presented AIG with an oversized "Reality
Check" from taxpayers. Video footage of the protest in front of AIG's
Washington, DC office can be found here: http://www.seiu.org/2009/03/a-
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.