The Spark

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.” — Karl Marx

Taking workers’ concessions, delivering them to shareholders

Feb 27, 2006

Chrysler CEO Tom LaSorda told the media that he expects to take from Chrysler workers and retirees the same concessions on wages and healthcare that were taken from Ford and GM workers.

While he is saying this, the DaimlerChrysler Group (DCX) is reporting its profits and dividends for the year.

Reported profits rose half a billion dollars to $3.4 billion. That works out to “earnings per share” of $3.32.

Out of those profits, DCX will give $1.78 per share to shareholders. In other words, more than half of its profits will not be put back into the business. It will be given away as a windfall to holders like Brandes Investment Partners, Deutsche Bank, or JP Morgan Chase – holders who do nothing but sit on their assets all year long and wait for the money to roll in.

DCX’s report actually states that the dividend “takes account . . . also of our expectations for the coming years.”

If their expectations for the coming years are so rosy that they can afford to give away more than half of their net earnings – why do workers have to give away anything at all?