ICYMI: Senator Warren Fast Company Op-ed: Business Roundtable declaration "was just an empty publicity stunt"
"The Roundtable must fully commit to the principles they set out in the 2019 Statement, act on them, and publicly report on their progress in the coming year" "Congress must also pass my Accountable Capitalism Act to force these giant corporations to fundamentally reform the way they do business"
Washington, DC - United States Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) published an op-ed today in Fast Company calling out how the Business Roundtable's big, splashy announcement last year to serve all stakeholders, including workers, consumers, and the communities in which they operate, was nothing but an empty publicity stunt. Earlier this month, Senator Warren sent a letter to the Business Roundtable criticizing them and their member CEOs for their failure to honor commitments in their 2019 Statement on the Purpose of a Corporation.
Read the full op-ed here. Key sections below:
Even during a devastating pandemic and economic collapse, the Business Roundtable has been lobbying for CEO's narrow, short-term interests. Enough with the press releases. The Roundtable must fully commit to the principles they set out in the 2019 Statement, act on them, and publicly report on their progress in the coming year. Congress must also pass my Accountable Capitalism Act to force these giant corporations to fundamentally reform the way they do business.
The ongoing pandemic and economic collapse has further revealed the inherent danger in corporations' obsession with maximizing shareholder-only interests and made it clearer than ever that the country needs my Accountable Capitalism Act to protect workers, consumers, and communities. Recent reports even show that many companies have quietly backtracked on their pandemic responses and that "the first wave of corporate responses seems to have dwindled much faster than the disease itself." These corporate responses sometimes included hazard pay, special customer benefits, and pauses on payments or foreclosures, but many corporations have rolled back these benefits as the pandemic continues to spread out of control.
Additionally, at a time when our nation is facing an urgent reckoning with systemic racism, racial inequality, and structural harm to communities of color, particularly Black communities, corporations are still cutting benefits for essential workers, which disproportionately hurt communities of color. While some companies have said that they will take steps to fight racism, a lot of the same ones have tricked and trapped the Black community with dangerous products, failed to hire and promote Black workers, and continue to exacerbate systemic inequality.
Rebuilding our economy so that workers, customers, and communities are able to share in prosperity requires real change in the way decisions are made in corporate boardrooms and on Wall Street.
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