IBEW LOCAL 103 vs. The
PHARMACEUTICAL INDUSTRY: 2008-10

Exposing Corrupt, Anti-Union Big Pharma

Corporate Campaign has worked closely with IBEW Local 103 in Dorchester, Massachusetts, which is constantly fighting big corporations in the biotech/pharmaceutical industries over their undermining the wages, benefits and working conditions of electricians and other building trades workers on building projects in eastern Massachusetts. It is expected that more battles will be fought in these industries as they try to operate in a union-free environment while at the same time, they undermine the entire healthcare system through price-gouging and cheating Medicare, Medicaid and taxpayers out of billions of dollars.

The following reflects the work CCI did with IBEW Local 103 in battling Big Pharma from 2008 to 2010. Working with Local 103 Business Manager Mike Monahan and Business Agent Lou Antonellis, we created the Campaign to Stop Biotech Looting and a website at www.StopBiotechLooting.org. What is not described in this website is how we successfully dealt with Prudential and Pfizer which previously had refused requests to meet and negotiate with the union. The CEOs of both companies responded quickly to the union's letters warning them of an impending Corporate Campaign aganst them.

Organized labor, including the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) and its 900 local unions are leading the movement for quality, affordable healthcare for all. That effort now intersects with IBEW Local 103's initiative to protect jobs and safety standards on building projects in eastern Massachusetts.

IBEW members take their issue to the steps of the Massachusetts Statehouse

Given the devastating effects of corporate greed on our economy, it is particularly alarming that pharmaceutical/biotech companies are pushing harder than ever to enrich themselves through public subsidies, grants, tax breaks and other special treatment at the expense of taxpayers, patients, workers and public services.

Campaign to Stop Biotech Looting

IBEW members take their issue
to the steps of Genzyme Corporation

While companies like Genzyme and Shire lobby aggressively for corporate welfare, their building contractors refuse to hire union electricians and other union workers who are graduates of the best apprentice training programs, earn area-standard wages and benefits and deliver top-quality work at job sites constantly monitored for safe working conditions.

Residents in Massachusetts and elsewhere are being hurt by the powerful lobby that exists to further enrich and empower the pharmaceutical/biotech industry. In her book, The Truth About Drug Companies, Harvard Medical School's Dr. Marcia Angell refers to companies "being hit with a tidal wave of government investigations and civil and criminal lawsuits" for "illegally overcharging Medicaid and Medicare, paying kickbacks to doctors, engaging in anticompetitive practices, colluding with generic companies to keep generic drugs off the market, illegally promoting drugs for unapproved uses, engaging in misleading direct-to-consumer advertising and of course, covering up evidence… Instead of being an engine of innovation, it is a vast marketing machine. Instead of being a free market success story, it lives off government-funded research and monopoly rights."

Campaign to Stop Biotech Looting

Download the original brochure in .PDF

At the center of the state lobby seeking to grab hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars are the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center, Massachusetts Life Sciences Collaborative Organizing Leadership Council and the Massachusetts Biotechnology Council. A key leader and benefactor of the lobby is Genzyme's CEO Henri Termeer, who raked in $35.6 million in compensation from Genzyme in 2007 and was appointed to Gov. Deval Patrick's Council of Economic Advisors.

Local 103 has formed a partnership with Corporate Campaign, Inc., a firm that has successfully challenged corporate predators since 1981, to help stop the industry's bad labor practices and looting.

On this website, we invite you to learn more about how Massachusetts taxpayers are being fleeced by the pharmaceutical/biotech industry and how you can help stop the looting.

The Campaign to Stop Biotech Looting website: www.StopBiotechLooting.org