HIGHTOWER: Chrysler's Top Brass Turns Gold

Step right up folks, it could be your turn next to grab all you can in the "Global Greed-o-Rama Game"!All around the world, corporations are engaged in a frenzy of merging, which results in the purging of thousands of employees. These mega-mergers produce mammoth corporations that are less efficient, a marketplace that is less competitive, and a workplace that has less middle-class job opportunities. So what's behind this merger push?Greed! The top executives who are orchestrating these huge mergers are making a killing. Check out the recent deal between Chrysler and the German auto giant Daimler-Benz. There'll be no gain in production efficiencies, and an untold number of working folks will lose their jobs. But one employee who'll gain big-time is Robert Eaton, the CEO of Chrysler who pushed the merger through.Under the terms of the deal he cut he'll get a $3.7 million cash payment, $149 million worth of shares in the new DaimlerChrysler company, and special stock grants of another $70 million. He also wangled a $300,000-a-year boost in his pension -- instead of being paid $1.4 million-a-year in his retirement years, he'll now get $1.7 million. In case you're counting, Eaton's pension alone will pay him more each year than most of us Americans will earn during our entire lifetime of work.Speaking of work, obviously Eaton won't have to, even though the merger makes him the Co-CEO of DaimlerChrysler for the next three years. If he quits or is dismissed during this time, guess what? He'll get paid 24 million bucks as goodbye money! And, to sweeten the kiss-off even more, DaimlerChrysler will pay Eaton's taxes on the payoff.This is Jim Hightower saying ... It's just another example of the top brass grabbing the gold ... and giving us the shaft.

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