Thursday, June 18, 2020

Covid reveals power imbalances at WI power tools firm

Depending on my energy level, I yell at the TV, fast-forward or mute it when those insultingly sanctimonious buy-our-stuff/'we're all in this tougher' ads pop up.

Because if corporations (or 'people,' as Mitt Romney called them a few years ago), were routinely equally in it with everyone when it comes to worker safety, workforce diversity, product integrity and ethical management, we'd have had a more equitable and healthy culture that was better prepared to navigate Covid-19 crises.

Today's showcase illustration of these fundamental flaws and imbalances begins with a Covid-19-related business decision in our own SE Wisconsin backyard - 
Seal of Wisconsin.svg
- and ironically, it speaks to the intentionally skewed distribution of power in a power-generating equipment leader:
Briggs & Stratton skips $6.7 million interest payment, awards $5 million to executives
In a statement, spokesman Rick Carpenter said: "Within this COVID environment and as part of a series of actions to increase our financial flexibility, we elected to take the advantage of the contractual 30-day grace period with respect to the interest payment owed to our Note holders.... 
Finally, the retention awards, within this COVID environment, are to ensure that the company retains the commitment, experience and expertise as a group to help align the company in these tough economic times." 
Wednesday, Briggs shares closed at $1.86. Over the last 52 weeks, the shares have traded in a range of between $1.50 and $10.51. 
And this reporting comes just days after a separate Briggs & Stratton story about 'this Covid environment' and 'tough economic times.' 
A Briggs & Stratton employee who pushed for more coronavirus restrictions in the workplace died from the virus
Mike Jackson, a 45-year-old father of eight, collapsed in late May while on the assembly line of his job at Briggs & Stratton. 

Days later, he died of the coronavirus.  

No comments: