Does anyone care about Phar-Mor employees?
I have been following several corporate bankruptcies and scandals closely, but in particular the Phar-Mor bankruptcy.
I just read that the two chief operating officers of Phar-Mor were given $1.5 million as a buy-out of their employment just before Phar-Mor's assets will be auctioned off later this month.
I find this appalling and a slap in the face of the common employees, creditors and shareholders of Phar-Mor. My impression is these two officers are walking away with the loot from a company that they helped bankrupt.
I am a frequent customer of the Market Street Phar-Mor, and over the last several months each time I shop there, I continue to overhear the employees talking and worrying about their jobs.
One can see the worry and fear in their faces about what might happen to them. These are the same employees who probably live day to day trying to make ends meet. Yet the two chief operating officers are leaving the company with probably more money than they will ever use.
I get the impression these two people couldn't care less about the company.
Perhaps, if they did, they would either give the money back to the court or split it among the real employees of Phar-Mor.
Womer Benjamin, the most experienced
"Everybody knows the dice are loaded. Everybody knows the fight was fixed. Everybody got this broken feeling. That's how it goes. Everybody knows." Those pop song lyrics by singer/songwriter Leonard Cohen could have easily been penned in an all-night bistro in the Mahoning Valley.
But now the bumpy-ride era of corruption, financial kickbacks and jailed politicians in the Valley is over. It's also time for our long time congressman, Jim Traficant, to change into work clothes and spend some time in the yard.
So to whom do "we the people" look for making major changes in our 17th Congressional District's representative? I am a life-long Democrat, as well as a retired UAW worker, but my vote is going to be a swing vote in November for the Republican Congressional candidate, Ann Womer Benjamin.
Ms. Womer Benjamin has planned and pushed more bills through the Ohio legislature as an eight-year House of Representative's veteran from Aurora, than her Democratic rival, Tim Ryan, has months in office as a state senator. In other words, candidate Tim Ryan is still a novice, an apprentice, if you will, one, who, in my opinion, still picks up a telephone before he makes any major political decisions.
Congressional candidate Ann Womer Benjamin is not the choice of the UAW or AFL-CIO leadership for their unions' endorsement, but Ms. Womer Benjamin rode on the steel workers AFL-CIO bus to Washington, D.C. recently, in support of tariffs on imported steel and Mahoning Valley union jobs.
I don't recall reading about candidates Tim Ryan or Warren Davis going to Washington or making statements on behalf of the laid-off steel workers, even though the UAW has been quoted as saying that "Ann Womer Benjamin has a fair record on labor issues."
The truth is that unions all across Ohio have been endorsing moderate Republicans who have chosen to stand with them on labor issues.
Candidate Tim Ryan may make an excellent politician at the federal level somewhere down the road. But for now, he needs to pay his senatorial dues in Ohio before being given a journeyman's card or getting elected as the 17th District's congressional representative.