Hannah Ihm's IR piece today about sacred cows caused us to do some digging on the ice cream gurus Ben & Jerry and their political stances that the Left embraces while blasting businesses such as Chick-Fil-A. Mayor Emanuel must believe Ben & Jerry's reflect "Chicago Values" because he's not criticized the four Ben & Jerry's stores in the Chicago area. ...So what are Ben & Jerry's values? Here's what their website says in support of the Occupy Now Movement:
We, the Ben & Jerry’s Board of Directors, compelled by our personal convictions and our Company’s mission and values, wish to express our deepest admiration to all of you who have initiated the non-violent Occupy Wall Street Movement and to those around the country who have joined in solidarity. The issues raised are of fundamental importance to all of us. These include:
- The inequity that exists between classes in our country is simply immoral.
- We are in an unemployment crisis. Almost 14 million people are unemployed. Nearly 20% of African American men are unemployed. Over 25% of our nation’s youth are unemployed.
- Many workers who have jobs have to work 2 or 3 of them just to scrape by.
- Higher education is almost impossible to obtain without going deeply in debt.
- Corporations are permitted to spend unlimited resources to influence elections while stockpiling a trillion dollars rather than hiring people.
We know the media will either ignore you or frame the issue as to who may be getting pepper sprayed rather than addressing the despair and hardships borne by so many, or accurately conveying what this movement is about. All this goes on while corporate profits continue to soar and millionaires whine about paying a bit more in taxes. And we have not even mentioned the environment.
We know that words are relatively easy but we wanted to act quickly to demonstrate our support. As a board and as a company we have actively been involved with these issues for years but your efforts have put them out front in a way we have not been able to do. We have provided support to citizens’ efforts to rein in corporate money in politics, we pay a livable wage to our employees, we directly support family farms and we are working to source fairly traded ingredients for all our products. But we realize that Occupy Wall Street is calling for systemic change. We support this call to action and are honored to join you in this call to take back our nation and democracy.
— Ben & Jerry’s Board of Directors
So corporate greed is bad, eh, Ben & Jerry?
Unilever bought out Ben & Jerry's in 2000 for $352 Million.
Ben & Jerry's used to have a policy that no employee's rate of pay shall exceed seven times that of entry-level employees. In 1995, entry-level employees were paid $8 hourly, and the highest paid employee was President and Chief Operating Officer Chuck Lacey, who earned $150,000 annually. When Ben Cohen resigned as Chief Executive Officer and Ben & Jerry's announced the search for a new CEO in 1995, the company ended the seven-to-one-ratio policy