Executives first?

| Sunday, June 23, 2013, 9:00 p.m.

I am a 78-year-old Consol Energy Inc. retiree who has fond memories of Consol. I was treated very well, paid very well and given the opportunity to do great things for both Consol and its coal miners.

However, a company is not bricks and mortar, but a reflection of the ethics and competency of all employees, influenced most by the top executives. The management I worked under is long gone.

The new Consol under J. Brett Harvey, chairman and CEO, decided it could no longer afford health coverage of retirees and is terminating it, effective Jan 1, 2014. I was surprised when I read in the news story “Big swings in CEO pay tied to performance of company” (June 2 and TribLIVE.com) that Harvey was paid $17.7 million in 2012. I guess he needed it to put beans on the table.

Top executives are paid well to make tough choices. However, Harvey, along with the top execs of other companies, sold coal miners down the river by not having the guts to stand up and be counted in the recent election, instead hiding behind the feeble efforts of former state Sen. John Pippy. Exceptions are United Mine Workers of America President Cecil Roberts and the owner of the former North American Coal properties.

I guess executives making personal money has become the game in town.

George H. Pudlo

Bethel Park

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