August 12. The CBS headline says it all: “Lowe’s spent billions on share buybacks, zero on severance for laid-off workers” The home improvement chain has 300,000 workers and is very profitable. “”Yet when thousands of those workers recently got the boot, they received no notice and no severance.” , says CBS
“Lowe’s has announced buybacks worth $5 billion annually, or every other year, for the past decade. “ The theory is that if a company buys back its stock, there’s less out there and the price of the stock will go up. Lowe’s could use the money to raise wages, but….. they don’t want to do that. The purchasing power of workers wages hasn’t gone up in 40 years. Executive compensation has skyrocketed. U.S. companies gorging themselves on Trump’s tax cuts took that money and invested in new factories spent $1 trillion ($1,000,000,000,000) on buying back their own stock in 2018.
The CBS article has a pitiful story about one woman, Patricia Wilkerson. She had just lost her part time job. She had been laid off twice by Lowe’s. This year she was making $12.22 an hour, less than when she was a seasonal worker at Lowe’s in 2003 when she made a royal $13 buck and hour.