U.S. Sen. Barbara Mikulski has written a letter strongly urging RG Steel's top executives to voluntarily give up their million dollar bonuses and instead support the 2,000 workers who will be laid off when the company's Sparrows Point plant completely shuts down.
“It is outrageous and unacceptable for executives to reward themselves with bonuses while laid-off workers are struggling to make ends meet,” Mikulski said in a statement. “Right now what we see over at RG Steel is a demonstration of moral bankruptcy. I called on the executives of RG Steel today to end this destructive culture of greed and self-enrichment.”
A federal bankruptcy court judge approved a booms pool of about $20 million to be paid to 10 top executives, dependent upon the sale of the company's assets at a price sufficient to pay off major creditors.
In addition to the letter, Mikulski earlier this week announced her cosponsorship of the Protecting Employees and Retirees in Business Bankruptcies Act, which curbs abuses that deprive employees and retirees of their earnings and retirements savings when businesses collapse.
Here is the full text of Mikulski's letter:
July 26, 2012
Mr. V. John Goodwin
President and CEO
RG Steel Sparrows Point, LLC
1430 Sparrows Point Boulevard
Sparrows Point, Maryland 21219-1039
Mr. James S. Tumulty
Senior Managing Director
The Seaport Group, LLC
360 Madison Avenue, 36th Floor
New York, NY 10017
Dear Messrs Goodwin & Tumulty:
I write to express my outrage at reports that 10 executives at RG Steel are expected to receive over $20 million in bonuses while 2,000 of my constituents at the Sparrows Point mill have been laid off.
I am currently working with members of the Maryland Congressional delegation to fight for every dollar of federal assistance that can be used to help the workers at Sparrows Point while a new buyer is sought to preserve steel production in Baltimore. If there’s $20 million available at RG Steel, why isn’t it going to the workers? Why isn’t it going to the local businesses that have contracts with RG Steel?
Every dollar is needed to shore up the safety net for these workers who lost their jobs through no fault of their own, for the community of local businesses that has been hurt by this bankruptcy, and to attract a new owner to continue making steel in Sparrows Point. It is outrageous that $20 million will be used for bonuses.
I strongly urge you to voluntarily give up your bonuses. I’ve cosponsored the Protecting Employees and Retirees in Business Bankruptcies Act (S. 3381) to prevent this from happening in the future. I look forward to your response.