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The Ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Future Must’ve Skipped Over the Union-Busters This Year

New York, NY – Billionaire businessman John Catsimatidis didn’t bolt out of bed Saturday morning after being visited by four ghostly apparitions in the night and suddenly rush to double workers wages, rehire fired employees and immediately end the eight-month strike at United Metro Energy Corp.

The Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come visits Scrooge. Who’s next?

New Yorkers were deprived the magical sight of a jubilant Catsimatidis, in long night shirt and stocking cap, “calves glowing like moons,” doing cartwheels down a snow-covered city street. 

Dickens’ yuletide spirits must’ve decided once again to save their breath, skip Cats’ palatial pad, along with those of Charter Communications CEO Tom Rutledge, Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, whatever crooked cabal of corporatists are running Warrior Met Coal in Alabama — and take another year off. 

Catsimatidis likes to pride himself being in business for 51 years and never having a strike waged against him — until now. Why then, with such a stellar labor record as his, does Catsimatidis not agree to give United Metro Energy workers what they need? As Teamsters JC 16 points out — he can afford it. 

Tommy Rutledge can surely afford it, too. Last year, Charter Communications’ head honcho made 687 times as much as the company’s median worker. With an executive pay package in access of more than $38.8 million, Rutledge’s salary ranks 27th on the AFL-CIO’s latest Executive Pay Watch report. 

But that’s just Tom’s reward for insisting on scrapping pensions and foisting high-deductible healthcare plans on the backs of IBEW Local 3 workers on strike at Spectrum cable-TV since March 2017. Busting the union, shattering families and upending lives have been great tools of intimidation — and it all pays phenomenally well. 

The richest man on the planet is all about worker intimidation. Amazon warehouse employees on Staten Island are so obsessed with TOT — Time Off Task — rules that they dare not take too long relieving themselves in the John. Try to exercise your right to unionize at any one of Jeff Bezos’ places across the country and you’ll likely be roused by the cops; attempt to shield yourself from sexual harassment on the job and you’ll be exhausted with the beaurocratic runaround. 

The big “buy, strip and flip” number Warrior Met Coal’s private equity owners are running on striking UMWA workers in Alabama is just the latest iteration of heinous exploitation super-wealthy elites have always inflicted on miners in this country. The corporate class’ grip on society is so complete that UMWA can’t even rally outside the company gates in Alabama, “call a scab a scab,” and is a major reason why the union took protests to the streets of New York City earlier this year. 

The ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Future must’ve figured that, unlike Ebenezer Scrooge, there is absolutely zero humanity left in the whole lot of profit-driven, working-class-hating bunch of elitists running this country into the ground.  

Frank Capra and his creative crew probably had it right a century later. There is no reforming or redeeming the warped, frustrated old men lording over Pottersville or Portsmouth. The only thing you can do is be more like Jimmy Stewart’s George Bailey and stand up to them — defy them — and beat them through mutual aide, collective action and staunch class solidarity. 

Still, at this time of year, a great many working men and women the world over struggling to keep themselves and their families together remain baffled, totally befuddled and bewildered, wondering why — oh why, the corporate class can’t see what Scrooge saw — spreading the wealth, investing in people and changing lives feels better than anything else this limited life has to offer. 

Old Mr. Fezziwig was, as fans of Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol” know [especially the penultimate 1951 movie classic starring Alistair Sim] a businesses owner. But when the waistecoated corporate fops initially began circling around Fezziwig, cajoling him to “sell out while the going’s good” — Fezziwig cooly rebuffed them saying, “It’s not just for money alone that one spends a lifetime building up a business — It’s to preserve a way of life that one knew and loved.” 

Big business has always hated “Mom & Pop” shops, too. 

There are many more “men of business” than the ones mentioned here, who along with their enablers, could benefit from a few yuletide hauntings this time of year. Maybe the spirits will change their minds, after all. There’s still time left this holiday season to light a candle and rattle the chains. 

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