A Message from IBEW Local 103

IBEW Local 103 Picketing Genzyme Corporation

Local 103's problem with Genzyme, Shire and others is that these corporations are among the richest and most profitable life science companies in the world and yet they are looting our State treasury in order to further enrich themselves at the expense of taxpayers and public services.

It is a travesty in this day and age that these multibillion-dollar companies would hire general contractors that use subcontractors that don't provide health care for their employees. They seem to have a problem conforming to the wage and benefit standards in the cities and towns in which they seek to expand. These drug companies produce the most expensive, over-priced prescription drugs in the world, but don't offer these drugs for less, yet demand that local construction workers provide their services for less. It's a rotten double standard and it reeks of corporate greed.

Local 103 is going to continue to take on the Fat Cat CEOs who run these companies and expose their construction policies. Genzyme CEO Henri Termeer is one of those greedy fat cats. Raking in more than $58 million in compensation from Genzyme alone in 2006 and 2007, Termeer is a leader in the industry lobby for corporate welfare. In fact, taxpayers have shelled out millions to upgrade the water system in Framingham in 2008 to accommodate Genzyme.

How hypocritical that Genzyme is applauded for giving $11,000 to the Framingham Head Start program in 2008, yet blackmails the state for millions of dollars for infrastructure improvements for its Framingham building project! Wouldn't that money be better spent for Head Start programs in Framingham and throughout Massachusetts? Genzyme likes to point out that it gave "philanthropic" contributions totaling $1.6 million in New England in 2007. What a paltry sum considering the amount of corporate welfare the company has received just from our state!

Shire Chairman Mathew Emmens makes about $4 million a year, not including bonuses. He and Shire are looking for over $40 million from the state by way of the Governor's Life Sciences Initiative. How much of that will be wasted on executive salaries and bonuses? Cities and towns are being forced to make tough decisions regarding their budgets. Massachusetts' municipalities can't afford new books for schools, they are charging fees for trash pick-up and they will be laying off teachers, police and firefighters. On one hand, the Commonwealth is even laying off blind people that make brooms and on the other, giving Shire $40 million.

Where is the legislature on this issue? Financially, times have changed drastically since it passed the Life Sciences Bill. It's time to stop the biotech looting now and use scarce taxpayer resources to finance public services, not payoffs to companies that, quite frankly, don't need the money. We've heard the argument that these companies will move to North Carolina, but we don't buy it. The wealth of infrastructure and brain power in this part of the country brings these companies to Massachusetts. There is a reason why Genzyme decided to build its world headquarters in Kendall Square. It's just feet from both Harvard and MIT. They want to be here; they need to be here. They certainly don't need another billion dollars to stay, but they'll get it unless taxpayers stand up to corporate greed.

Stop the Senate Sellout on Generic Drugs!!! Stop Biotech Looting!!! Genzyme = Greed A Message from IBEW Local 103 Mony for Need not Greed | Public Services and Healthcare for ALL!!!