Another CEO tries to bully employees into voting for Romney.
Mike White, the chairman and owner of Rite-Hite, a major Milwaukee manufacturer of industrial equipment, told employees in an email this week that all employees “should understand the personal consequences to them of having our tax rates increase dramatically if President Obama is re-elected, forcing taxpayers to fund President Obama’s future deficits and social programs (including Obamacare), which require bigger government.”
The email stunned some employees. One employee said he felt threatened by the email. “It’s a good company, but for this to come out, it’s absurd,” the employee said.
The employee said even supervisors were surprised by the tone of the email.
White, a Summerfest board member and village trustee in the Village of River Hills, did not return several calls requesting comment. The firm employs an estimated 1,400 people worldwide.
In his email, White said neither he nor the company wanted to “prejudice any employee for their political views and totally respect your right to vote as you choose. I am simply trying to present the facts as I know them and to protect the business you have helped build! Please think carefully about your vote on Nov. 6.”
Wisconsin state law prohibits employers from engaging in voter intimidation.
Wis. Stat. 12.07 (3)
No employer or agent of an employer may distribute to any employee printed matter containing any threat, notice or information that if a particular ticket of a political party or organization or candidate is elected or any referendum question is adopted or rejected, work in the employer’s place or establishment will cease, in whole or in part, or the place or establishment will be closed, or the salaries or wages of the employees will be reduced, or other threats intended to influence the political opinions or actions of the employees.
Violating that statute can result in a fine of up to $1,000, a jail sentence of up to 6 months, or both (see: Wis. Stat. 12.60 (1) (b)). Just a reminder that if you see or experience voter intimidation, report it to the Government Accountability Board: 1-866-VOTE-WIS