Wages per Perdue

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Celia Murray

Celia Murray

Last week, Senate candidates Michelle Nunn and David Perdue had the opportunity to question each other at the Perry candidates debates. One notable exchange concerned the minimum wage The Atlanta Journal Constitution reported that Michelle Nunn posed the following question to Perdue: “David, I’ve said on the campaign that I support raising the minimum wage.

You owned a company with thousands of employees that make the federal minimum wage and you have opposed raising the minimum wage. SO I would like to ask you, what do you think the federal minimum wage should be, specifically?”

Perdue’s response was not to discuss the minimum wage, but instead to insist that “my opponent wants to tear me down in terms of my business career,” and then he rambled on about “Obamacare” and amnesty. Nunn came back to the question: “… So let me ask you again: Do you believe that we should have a minimum wage and specifically what do you think it should be?”

Perdue continued to evade the question. He simply will not tell the truth – that he doesn’t believe there should be any minimum wage.

As also reported by the AJC, Perdue, based on his tax returns, made $42 million in two years at Dollar General, or $57,534 per day.

A minimum wage employee at the time working 40 hours per week would have made $13,624 per year. Perdue sings a different tune when it comes to his own pay.

The New York Times took a further look at Perdue’s Pillowtex deposition. After bragging about his career spent outsourcing American jobs, Perdue, under oath, griped about his compensation. As Jonathan Weisman reports: “In page after page, Mr. Perdue, who had come from a lucrative post at Reebok, expresses more concern with his own financial security than with the tanking business and the 7,600 jobs that were going down with it.

“‘I just didn’t feel like the board and Oaktree were sensitive to the vulnerability that I was in,’ the multimillionaire executive told lawyers in 2005, referring to Pillowtex, a North Carolina-based textile maker, and Oaktree Capital Management, the company’s largest financial backer.

“‘From my perspective, this thing had totally blown up in my face. The equity that I walked away from, the stock at Reebok continued to go up. This thing was not what it had been represented to me to be’ he complained. “As his company was heading toward bankruptcy, Mr. Perdue pressed the board for a $700,000 payout to cover taxes he owed on a signing bonus and $100,000 for a relocation he never actually took. He received both, as well as a $500,000 stipend to stay on during final, failed takeover negotiations that could have rescued Pillowtex.

He announced his resignation that spring, effective after a two-week paid vacation.” David Perdue didn’t care whether hard-working people working for companies he headed could feed their families, but he sure was concerned about his own salary. He won’t be concerned about average Georgia families either. Celia Murray is a member of the Morgan County Democratic Committee.

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