America’s Most Notorious Anti-Worker, Anti-Union Billionaire Executives

Howard Schultz

Roles: CEO of Starbucks

Net worth: $3.8 billion

Notable offenses against workers:

Schultz is currently the reigning heavyweight champion poster child of the executive union-buster. The company has spent millions trying to stop low-paid service workers from unionizing and gaining the right to bargain collectively. And it’s failed miserably as hundreds of locations have overwhelmingly voted yes in NLRB elections.

Schultz has shown his union-busting via outlandish statements, such as threatening to give benefits to non-union employees only and making a strange and insulting Holocaust analogy to workers ahead of a union drive.

Elon Musk

Roles: CEO of Tesla, Twitter, and SpaceX

Net Worth: $144 billion

Notable offenses against workers:

We’re tired of hearing about Elon Musk every day in the news. But he deserves mention here for just how awful he is towards workers.

At Tesla, he’s championed an anti-union philosophy, insulted the UAW on social media, and illegally threatened workers who sought to unionize. He is known for an extreme work culture that has employees working insane hours to make him obscenely rich. He once said, insulting American workers who’ve made him rich, that “[Chinese employees] won’t just be burning the midnight oil, they will be burning the 3am oil, they won’t even leave the factory type of thing, whereas in America people are trying to avoid going to work at all.”

He’s continued his cringey anti-worker (and outdated by a century) management style at Twitter. After he took over the social media giant, three-fourths of the staff were laid off, with worse severance packages than employees had expected. He embarrassed himself by trying to fight with Twitter programmers publicly – and then fired one of them for publicly contradicting him.

Twitter’s work culture and morale appear to have been delimitated, to say the least.

Jeff Bezos

Roles: Founder of Amazon and Blue Origin

Net worth: $110 billion

Notable offenses against workers:

Amazon’s culture is not some accident. It’s the deliberate design of its ruthless founder, Jeff Bezos. The company spent a small fortune to beat a union-drive in Alabama, while losing one in NYC. It has a lengthy record of allegations by workers for  labor law violations: denial of bathroom breaks, dangerously hot warehouses, threats against workers seeking to unionize, and much more. It had a union organizer arrested for bringing food to workers. Many of the employees have sought public assistance to make ends meet because of low wages, even though the company and its founder have an  obscene amount of money.

Bezos has little tolerance for giving raises to workers, so he “discovered what he thought was another inefficiency worth eliminating: hourly employees who spent years working for the same company.” His theory, according to sources, is that raises for workers who have been with the company for a while is throwing money away.

With annual turnover of 150% at the company’s warehouses, it’s apparent that workers have had it with the Bezos philosophy of treating workers like garbage.

Charles Koch

Roles: CEO of Koch Industries, Co-Founder of the CATO Institute

Net worth: $59 billion

Notable offenses against workers:

Billionaire Charles Koch, and his late brother David, have funded right-wing groups, including the Americans for Prosperity and the American Legislative Exchange Council, that are vehemently anti-union and pro “right to work.” Through Koch’s millions, these anti-union groups have been able to push their agendas across the country via state efforts and all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court. Koch is a terrifying example of the influence that a single rich person can have over the country’s politics.

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