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Friday, September 29, 2023

A note to UAW workers and WGA writers on strike, from a rich guy: Enough already

The United Auto Workers are now on strike, and writers and actors have been striking against Hollywood studios for months. These work stoppages are clearly frustrating for the extremely wealthy, but I’m happy to say one anonymous executive had the courage to share his thoughts with the strikers.

Dear striking poors:

I am a wealthy executive involved in both the auto and film industries, and I’m writing today to politely ask you to halt your labor strikes before you do any more harm to me or my family, including my three purebred Tibetan mastiffs: Hampton, Belvedere and Harrumph.

Your unwillingness to accept the generous, more-than-zero wages you’re being offered is rude, and I don’t think you’ve given much thought to how your work stoppage might inconvenience people like me who are more important than you. Thanks to your “desire for an equitable wage,” several of my children have been forced to consider what it would be like to work for a living, and we’ve had to wean the mastiffs off wagyu to a wagyu-Angus cross, which has a lower marbling score that has made them impish.

UAW President Shawn Fain, taking a selfie, marches with dozens of United Auto Workers in Detroit on Sept. 15, 2023.

UAW President Shawn Fain, taking a selfie, marches with dozens of United Auto Workers in Detroit on Sept. 15, 2023.

Striking workers think they deserve an equitable wage? HAH!

Before I go on, you should know my bona fides. I have spent my entire adult life working in board rooms that at times have served unbottled water and had humidity controls that fluctuate too much for my taste. I once perspired. While amassing a great fortune, I have devoted myself to philanthropy, making sure my second mansion (of four) is clearly visible from the street so underprivileged people can see it and feel inspired.

Like the CEOs at the Big Three auto companies, my pay has increased by 40% over the last decade, so you can imagine my shock when the roughnecks at the United Auto Workers union said their workers should see a similar pay increase.

What a preposterous suggestion. If we executives start increasing worker pay at the same rate we increase our own pay, we might wind up with less of the more-money-than-we-know-what-to-do-with that we currently have. That’s a nonstarter.

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If I don’t have more money than I know what to do with, I might start figuring out what to do with the money I have, and next thing you know I might be distributing that money more equitably among the people who helped me get that money in the first place.


How dare Hollywood writers and actors demand they be paid more than 100 times less than me!

The same goes for the striking Hollywood writers. Is there a Los Angeles Times analysis showing that the pay for Hollywood executives is up 53% from 2018 and is more than 100 times that of the average writer’s pay?

I don’t know. I can’t find that copy of the Times because butler No. 4 accidentally left it in the spot where I like to build my money forts. Do you expect me to knock down a perfectly good money fort just so I can learn something that might make me feel empathy for another human being? (I’m kidding, my empathy gland was removed during my last plastic surgery!)

Writers and actors strike outside Paramount Studios on Sept. 18, 2023, in Los Angeles.

Writers and actors strike outside Paramount Studios on Sept. 18, 2023, in Los Angeles.

Look, all I know is your recalcitrance is putting me at risk. If these strikes go on much longer I could slip from the top 0.0001% to the top 0.001%, which would be mortifying.

We don’t need you striking workers to build our cars

You all think you’re SO special and talented that you deserve some say in whether it’s “fair” that families in the top 1% in America earn more than 26 times what families in the bottom 99% earn – or that the top 10% of the population has seen its real income grow by 145% since 1980 while the bottom 50% has seen only 20% income growth.

As if we, the proud elites who deserve the hard-earned money we’ve made watching you all work hard, even need you silly people.

Republican or Democrat? Florida and Michigan show voters which side has a heart.

I bet my son Binkley could build a car just as well as any of you ungrateful union types.


Oops. I forgot Binkley is on a wellness retreat recovering from the trauma of getting mud on his shoes during the daylong brie famine at this year’s Burning Man.

Regardless, I’m sure I can find competent people to build cars for me, people who wouldn’t make outrageous demands like the reinstatement of pensions, job security and the return of benefits cut during the Great Recession of 2008.

UAW, WGA and SAG must call off their strikes

The bottom line is this: STOP STRIKING!

It’s unseemly and it’s un-American. This country was built on the exfoliated and pilates-strengthened backs of important people like me, and I will not stand idly by while you hoi polloi grouse and moan about your wages being preposterously out of line with executive wages.

Would it help if we offered you free soup? You seem to like that stuff.

Of course if we do that, next you’ll be asking for spoons or bowls or something. It’s a slippery slope.

Disney, Netflix better listen: Pay your writers and actors, or you’ll have to answer to us, the un-entertained

Think about how these strikes might be harming the wealthy

Meanwhile my family and I are wrecked with worry over our mastiffs’ gastronomic issues and wondering if we’ll have to cancel this year’s vacation No. 7. (It’s not like we can just return the island we bought!)

Shame on all of you for selfishly demanding things that mathematically and morally make sense. WE WILL NOT YIELD TO YOUR DEMANDS!

(Unless we have to bump the mastiffs down to USDA Select. That might be a bridge too far.)

Follow USA TODAY columnist Rex Huppke on X, formerly Twitter, @RexHuppke and Facebook facebook.com/RexIsAJerk

You can read diverse opinions from our Board of Contributors and other writers on the Opinion front page, on Twitter @usatodayopinion and in our daily Opinion newsletter. To respond to a column, submit a comment to [email protected].

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: UAW strike demands better pay for workers, ignoring wealthy CEO needs

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