Staples SLAMS Anti-Business Obama After His Public Smear on the Office Supply Chain
In a rare instance of corporate criticism of a president, Staples Inc. on Wednesday said that President Barack Obama “appears not to have all the facts” when he criticized the company’s policy of limiting worker hours.
The news website BuzzFeed had reported earlier this week that Staples had toughened up enforcement of a rule limiting part-time staff to 25 hours. The story reported that the company’s stance was seen by many workers as an effort to avoid paying benefits.
Under the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, companies with more than 50 employees have to pay for health insurance for people who work 30 hours a week or more.
In an exclusive interview on Tuesday, Buzzfeed asked Obama to comment on its Staples story.
Obama responded: “I haven’t looked at Staples stock lately or what the compensation of the CEO is, but I suspect that they could well afford to treat their workers favorably and give them some basic financial security, and if they can’t, then they should be willing to allow those workers to get the Affordable Care Act without cutting wages.
“When I hear large corporations that make billions of dollars in profits trying to blame our interest in providing health insurance as an excuse for cutting back workers’ wages, shame on them,” he added.
In a statement Wednesday, Staples SPLS, +1.09% denied that its part-time employee policy was the result of the Affordable Care Act.
“The initial [BuzzFeed] story was misleading as our policy regarding hours for part-time employees is more than a decade old,” said Kirk Saville, a Staples spokesman.
“It’s unfortunate that the president is attacking a company that provides more than 85,000 jobs and is a major taxpayer,” he added.