Emerson’s Charitable Exploitation

Emerson is a multinational engineering corporation which employs over 115,000 people in fifteen countries which proudly recorded gross profits in excess of $10 billion last year. So with much fanfare they ran a press release last week that made it into the Leicester Mercury.

The resulting article noted how “workers at Emerson Process Management in Meridian Business Park, Braunstone, helped raise more than £5,000 for Action for Children during a dinner dance at the Hilton Metropole Hotel, in Birmingham.” Of course it is great that Emerson’s workers made this donation to charity, but surely the corporation itself can give a little more than this?

This is unlikely when one examines some of the rapacious capitalists that head up Emerson’s board of directors. A good particularly good example is Joseph Prueher, a retired Navy admiral and former Commander in Chief of U.S. Pacific Command, who until recently served on the advisory board of Paladin Capital Group under the chairmanship of the former head of the CIA, James Woolsey.


Or take Emerson’s chairman and CEO, David Farr, who serves on the board room of the strongly anti-union National Association of Manufacturers. Mr Farr also happens to be a board member of IBM, which has been a keen supporter of…

…a national consortium of state politicians and powerful corporations, ALEC — the American Legislative Exchange Council — which presents itself as a “nonpartisan public-private partnership”. But behind that mantra lies a vast network of corporate lobbying and political action aimed to increase corporate profits at public expense without public knowledge.

So this week, Mr Farr would have been very happy with the positive media coverage of Emerson’s £5,000 charitable donation in Leicester — especially given that the Labour City Council has just spent £3 million of local money renovating offices on New Walk for his other business interest, IBM!

Here it is interesting to note that Emerson has sacked around 20,000 of their American employees in recent years, in the main because China has proven itself to be an ideal host country for their operations. The simple reasoning behind this move can be explained by the fact that in China Emerson are able to pay their employees far less.

Much the same is true of IBM’s reasons for working in China. And so it is that IBM routinely breaks the law in China by forcing their factory workers to work 15-hour shifts, with a total break time of 1.5 hours. This when Chinese laws limits the maximum hours in a work day to 12 hours, including overtime and 1.5 hours in break time!


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