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More Companies Cutting Costs By Replacing CEOs With Prison Labor

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WASHINGTON—As businesses prepare for a looming economic recession, a government report released Wednesday found that more companies have chosen to cut costs by replacing CEOs with prison labor. “As firms both large and small seek to rein in expenditures, one increasingly common strategy is to replace the high-salaried chief executive and other C-suite occupants with much cheaper incarcerated laborers,” stated the report by the Bureau of Justice Statistics, which found hundreds of instances in which companies—from small businesses to large corporations like General Motors, Walmart, and Nike—were now led by an imprisoned convict who was bused into corporate headquarters each day to perform all the functions of a CEO for an average of 40 cents per hour. “At a time when the average CEO makes nearly 400 times as much as a typical worker, and CEOs at large firms earn north of $25 million per year, more corporate boards are realizing that they can get the same amount of output from a prisoner who works for a fraction of the salary. In several states, including Florida, Georgia, and Texas, these prison CEOs are actually paid nothing for their work. While this raises some thorny ethical issues—like the new incarcerated CEO of AT&T making no salary at all due to prison labor exemptions from federal wage laws—there is no denying that many companies see major benefits from paying their CEOs virtually nothing and experience very few drawbacks with workflows.” The report also found that while employees of these large firms had qualms about their company being led by an incarcerated individual, many acknowledged that their work-life balance had improved, as strict limits on prison phone time left the CEO unable to reach out to their employees around the clock.