On Tuesday, hundreds of Missouri students, retirees, jobless workers, shareholders, and SEIU HCII members joined a national wave of growing discontent targeting corporate tax-dodging and the devastating impact it has on our communities. In Kansas City, 200 protestors swarmed the Great Plains Energy shareholder meeting demanding that the greedy utility company pay its fair share and stop making kids, seniors, and struggling families suffer through lost revenue and social programs cut to the bone.
35 shareholders attended the meeting and voiced opposition to corporate leaders, before being escorted out. Mic checks, testimonials, and poignant questions from unhappy shareholders were too much for the corporate leaders who like business as usual like CEO Michael Chesser, who raked in $11.9 million during 2008-2010.
EVS Technician Ed Hayes, an HCII member from Menorah Medical Center, was one of the shareholders who attended the meeting on Tuesday and described his participation as, “a really positive experience.”
“Actions like the one at Great Plains Energy is exactly how we get this message out to the public,” said Hayes. “Corporations that are dodging taxes need to be held accountable and standing up and speaking out is how we do that. We brought our message to their front door when we attended the shareholder meeting and they had to hear us.”
Expelled shareholders were greeted by a banner drop, signs highlighting facts like how many teachers that could have been hired if Great Plains paid their fair share, and chants of “Corporate taxes must be paid, people’s lives are not for trade!”