Monday, August 3, 2009

Did Ursula Burns talk Education to Barack Obama over lunch while Martin Reiser was writing letters to Nancy Pelosi?

Compare and contrast:
from Politico:
W.H. makes CEOs pay for lunch - Eamon Javers
"Four of the most powerful business leaders in America arrived at the White House one day last month for lunch with President Barack Obama, sitting down in his private dining room just steps from the Oval Office.
. . .
Around the table with Barack Obama that afternoon were Ursula Burns, CEO of Xerox Corporation; Muhtar Kent, CEO of The Coca-Cola Company; AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson; and Honeywell International CEO Dave Cote.

From Bloomberg
Boeing, Xerox Join 185 Groups Objecting to House Health Plan
July 31 (Bloomberg) -- Boeing Co., Xerox Corp. and Caterpillar Inc. are among 185 companies and business groups objecting to health-care legislation in the U.S. House that they say would hurt their ability to cover employees..

. .The letter to the House leaders is to be sent today, said Martin Reiser, chairman of the National Coalition on Benefits, a Washington group that gathered the signatures. Reiser is also a manager of government policy for Norwalk, Connecticut-based Xerox.

The legislation may require companies to offer different coverage for workers depending on their location and limit changes to retiree benefits, the business coalition said in a letter being sent to Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of California and Republican Leader John Boehner of Ohio.

I started Tough Love for Xerox in January 2009 because I saw a letter about Xerox policy in regard to retired pension holders. Below is a snippet:

December 6, 2008

Matthew R. Maher Jr.

Dear President elect Obama and Vice President elect Biden,

We voted and campaigned for you and congratulate you both. We are confident you have America’s middle class at heart. Your polices will determine our future voting, however we fear you have made a mistake selecting Anne Mulchey, CEO of Xerox, to your economic team.

My wife and I along with 30,000 other middle class employees retired from Xerox with over 30 years of dedicated service were promised retirement benefits when we retired. Ann Mulchey CEO of Xerox has completely eliminated funding for promised health care benefits for all 30,000 retired employees and 50,000 future retirees. . . .

Read the full letter at This Doesn't Sound Right

In January, I blogged,
Somebody needs to fix it. The whole pension issue is going to blow up in the press probably sooner rather than later. To be clear, I have no idea if it's true or not. Just posted what I found. Is the money saved really worth the potential brand damage as we move into an Obama defined world?

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