Corporate Rotten Eggs
Salmonella and the Egg Recall
(c) Jennifer Kohnke
There are rotten apples in every industry. Or perhaps I should say rotten eggs.
One especially rotten egg is
DeCoster is recalling 380 million eggs sold since mid-May. Another commercial egg company, also headquartered in
It's not clear how recall rotten eggs are recalled. They're not like Toyotas. They're already in our food supply.
But this is only the beginning of the story.
Thirteen years ago when I was secretary of Labor, DeCoster agreed to pay a
Several people in
In 2003, DeCoster pleaded guilty to knowingly hiring undocumented immigrants (who don't complain about unsafe working conditions, below-minimum-wage pay and unsanitary facilities). DeCoster paid a record
In the 1990s, he was charged by
In 2002 the
Earlier this year, DeCoster paid another fine to settle state animal cruelty charges against his egg operations in
In other words, the current national salmonella outbreak is just the latest in a long series of DeCoster corporate crimes. He's fostered a culture that disregards any law standing in the way of profits. Along the way, DeCoster has abused the environment, animals, his employees and his customers.
Corporations that play fast and loose with one set of laws are likely to cut corners on others. Look at
When I was secretary of Labor,
Some CEOs are just bad citizens, and the corporations they head get the message that the public be damned.
Too often, though, one level or agency of government doesn't know about corporate malfeasance turned up by another level or agency of government. This is especially true when violations are settled out of court, as is now common. Government doesn't have nearly enough inspectors or lawyers to bring every rotten egg to trial.
A national database of corporate crimes and settlements would tip off federal, state and local inspectors to rotten eggs like
And the rot wouldn't spill over to other companies now under competitive pressure to treat fines and penalties as the costs of doing business.
Before we can get rid of corporate rotten eggs we need to know about them.
Available at Amazon.com:
- Corporate Rotten Eggs
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- Unpopular CEOs Who Still Collect Millions
- The Great Decoupling of Corporate Profits From Jobs
- Skimps and Splurges for Starting a Business
- Unique MBA Programs Build Leadership Skills
- Business Schools Add New Entrepreneur Programs for MBA Students
- Why Start-ups Could Make or Break the Job Recovery
- Obama and Big Business Trade Blame on the Economy
- Do You Trust Financial Services Companies? Trust Index Says Not So Much
- Restraining the Profit Itch
- America Has Two Sets of Rules
- Women Have Come a Long Way in Wrong Direction
- What the Resumes of Top CEOs Have in Common
- Percentage of Women on Corporate Boards Remains Stagnant
- Crisis Management: Leading Successfully Through the Storm
- Financial Crisis, Enron, Hurricane Katrina Examples of Leadership Gone Wrong
- Breaking the Corporate Glass Ceilings
- The Ethics of Reality in the Workplace
- Kindness and Corporations: Sensitivity Does Have a Place in the Workplace
Business - Corporate Rotten Eggs
(c) 2010 Robert Reich