In a hotly contested election Galen Weston Jr. has been voted by our readers as winner of RankandFile.ca’s Scumbag of the Year award for 2017. Weston, the CEO & President of Loblaw Companies Limited had quite the year in screwing over workers from coast-to-coast.
When the Ontario Liberals announced their intention to raise the minimum wage to $15 by 2019 (under great pressure from workers and social movements) this past May, Weston responded by pleading poverty. Weston said the rise in the minimum wage would cost his company roughly $190 million and would be a significant headwind to his business. Never mind that Loblaw Companies Limited profits continue to smash new records and that Weston’s personal wealth is in excess of $8 billion, Weston wanted you to feel bad for him and his company because they couldn’t pay the poverty wages to his workers.
Loblaws, which has been long in the spotlight for tax dodging, was named in this fall’s release of the Paradise Papers. The company registered offshore holding companies in Barbados and Bermuda in 2005. By some estimates its tax avoidance schemes have cost tax payers up to $350 million dollars.
And then on the day the Ontario government passed Bill 148 increasing the minimum wage to $15 and strengthening labour laws Loblaws announced it was closing twenty stores and firing 500 people from the company, despite making record profits.
Not to be outdone Weston and co., after an investigation by the Competition Bureau, copped to a 14 year price fixing scheme on bread. Yes, Weston had been fixing the price on fucking bread for 14 years, a basic food necessity for many Canadians. People used to be guillotined for that.
Weston and his PR team have been trying to spin their way out of it by saying they are the good guys, that he ended the price fixing as soon he found out. To make amends for his years of swindling the poor Weston is offering a piddly $25 gift card.
Weston’s who greatest achievement to date was the accident of birth, can now add RankandFile.ca’s 2017 Scumbag of the Year to his list of life’s accomplishments.
You can tweet to Weston Jr. @LoblawsON to congratulate him on his award.
Don Sinclair – Sinclair rankled our readers for his egregious assault of college workers and education. Ignoring workers and students he forced out college faculty in Ontario on their longest ever strike by refusing to bargain.