Scott Wagner, owner of Penn Waste, and GOP candidate for Governor of Pennsylvania is probably the perfect representation of a modern Republican. He doesn’t want to release his tax returns because he doesn’t want his employees to consider joining a union. He doesn’t want his workers to make more money, because he wants to keep that money for himself.
In addition to being the GOP’s pick to run for governor, Wagner — a state senator — is the owner of Penn Waste Inc., which is a non-union company. As of this writing, Wagner has refused to release his tax returns to allow voters to see how much he makes and what percentage of his income he pays in taxes.
While Wagner declined to state a reason for keeping his tax returns secret during the primary, he finally divulged why his tax documents have been kept from the public at a town hall in Erie, Pennsylvania earlier this week: If his workers knew how much he made, they would form a union.
“If I disclose those tax returns, union representatives get a hold of my tax returns, go around to my employees’ homes at night and say, ‘Hey Mrs. Jones, how much does your husband make?’ She goes, ‘Well he makes this.’ ‘Well this guy makes a lot more,’ ” Wagner said.
It’s worth noting that Scott Wagner likely makes a lot of money, and I mean a lot of money.
What is Wagner’s net worth?
It was about $20 million, a judge wrote in 2012. Years later, Wagner disputed that figure, but declined to offer another estimate.
Penn Waste took in $75 Million in revenue last year. Now, employee wage is an expense, so Scott Wagner evidently doesn’t want that expense to cut into his revenue too much. It doesn’t look like it is:
Data on job site Glassdoor shows that garbage truck drivers for Penn Waste can expect to make between $14/hour and $15/hour, which is, at most, $31,200 before taxes for someone working a 40-hour week. A logistics coordinator only makes between $18/hour to $20/hour (up to $41,600 before taxes for a full-time employee). A maintenance technician’s salary only goes as high as $58,000/year.
Reviews on Glassdoor of Penn Waste are less than flattering. Employees wrote that management typically doesn’t fill positions vacated by workers when they quit, meaning the remaining workers have to take on a higher workload. Penn Waste employees also said it’s hard to get a raise approved by management.
“This job sucks,” one employee wrote on Glassdoor, giving the company two out of five stars. “No overtime pay. Work anywhere from 8 to 12 hours a day. Rules only apply when supervisors say so.”
This is why Republican candidates who are funded by corporate executives, or in Scott Wagner’s case are corporate executives themselves, are so strongly anti-union: they don’t want their employees to make more money, because if their employees make more, that could mean the corporate executives end up with less.
In other words: Greed.