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Announcement :: Human Rights
ex-GE CEO coming to Boston -Fri 7/15
07 Jul 2005
Modified: 03:26:32 PM
Jack Welch, ex CEO of GE, who is famous for laying off 10% of his employees a year is coming to Boston for a city sponsored event
"Do you like hanging with celebrities?

Do you like supporting a great local cause?

Well then we have a great event for you! ReadBoston is hosting an author series event with Mayor Thomas M. Menino and Jack Welch, former CEO of General Electric and recent best selling author of the book "Winning."

Join us on Friday, JULY 15th at 5PM at Morton's, The Steakhouse (Boylston St./Copley Square) as we raise money for ReadBoston, the city’s non-profit early literacy initiative."
-Tickets are $25

GE history under Jack:
General Electric makes household appliances, plastics, water treatment systems, lighting, medical equipment, and commercial financial services. It also makes aircraft engines and nuclear reactors, and keeps criticism at bay with its ownership of media giants NBC, CNBC, Telemundo, Bravo, and, in partnership with Microsoft, GE’s recent partnership with Vivendi added Universal Studios, USA, Trio and Sci-fi cable channels to its $43 billion media empire.

GE CEO Jack Welch claimed: “PCBs do not pose adverse health risks.” Testifying in Albany on July 9, 1998, EPA Administrator Carol Browner stated: “GE tells us this contamination is not a problem. GE would have people of the Hudson River believe, and I quote: ‘living in a PCB-laden area is not dangerous.’

Shortly after George W. Bush declared his candidacy for president in June of 1999, General Electric Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Jack Welch was contacted by Bush political advisor Karl Rove. Welch later informed associates that Rove told him a Bush administration would initiate comprehensive deregulation of the broadcast industry. Rove guaranteed that deregulation would be implemented in a way that would create phenomenal profits for conglomerates with significant media holdings, like GE. Rove forcefully argued that General Electric and the other media giants had a compelling financial interest to see Bush become president.

Welch told several people at GE that the conversation with Rove convinced him that a Bush presidency would ultimately result in billions of dollars of additional profits for General Electric. Welch believed that it was his responsibility to operate in the best interest of GE shareholders, and that now meant using the full power of the world’s biggest corporation to get Bush into the White House.

Toward that end, Welch said that he would finally deal with a longstanding grievance of his: the ludicrous idea that news organizations should be allowed to operate in conflict with the best interests of the corporations that own them… Specifically, NBC News was an asset owned by the shareholders of General Electric. It existed to make profits and to serve the interests of those who owned GE stock. Period. Anything else, Welch told associates, was “liberal bullshit”…

GE’s history with nuclear power is an ugly one. In the 1940s-1960s the company ran experiments on humans with radiation, including irradiating the reproductive organs of prison inmates in Walla Walla, Washington, without warning them of the risk of cancer. Other tests were run on the elderly and hospital patients. General Electric intentionally released large amounts of radiation into the air from the Hanford Nuclear Reservation in Richland, in order to see the distance it would travel. These atrocities were revealed in hearings in 1986 held by Representative Edward Markey of Massachusetts. The company has also been accused of knowingly poisoning its workers at the Knolls Atomic Power Laboratory in Schenectady, New York with radiation and asbestos.

General Electric is currently attempting to overturn the US Superfund Law of 1980, which allows the government to hold polluters responsible for cleaning up their toxic chemicals. GE argues that it is “unconstitutional” for the Environmental Protection Agency to force the company to pay $500 million for the cleanup of the Hudson River, where GE dumped carcinogenic PCBs, or polychlorinated biphenyls, over three decades. In March 2004, a federal appeals court has revived GE’s lawsuit. It shouldn’t come as a surprise that GE is trying to change the Superfund Law: the company is responsible for 78 Superfund sites around the US

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Re: ex-GE CEO coming to Boston -Fri 7/15
07 Jul 2005
this event is sponsored by the Boston Redevelopment Authority, always a neighborhood favorite