May 16, 2018 08:48 AM
Forgotten in the massive corporate Xerox shake-up this week are the Xerox retirees that still live in our community. But they're not forgotten by News10NBC.
Xerox is the 7th largest employer in Rochester with more than 3,400 employees. On Sunday, pressured by two powerful shareholders including Carl Icahn, the company scrapped a deal to be sold to Fuji Film and the CEO resigned
For some of the people who used to work there, they say Xerox cut them off years ago.
Gary Peacock says he "started as an hourly on dock 10."
That was 1963. Peacock retired 35 years later.
After moving back from Florida, he is now the president of the Pioneer Club, the organization of retired Xerox employees. I asked him what he thought of the Xerox takeover by Carl Icahn and another major shareholder.
Gary Peacock, President XRX Pioneer Club: "If those two get their hands in the pie I'm trusting that they'll keep going. They're still making product. They still have a lot of product out there that is going to need supplies."
"Let's not kid ourselves. Carl Icahn is not a philanthropist," said George Conboy, Chairman of Brighton Securities.
Conboy says Icahn is in it to make money and he does that by increasing the value of the company, not running it.
"But Carl Icahn is a Xerox shareholder and what he makes for himself as a shareholder he'll make for other shareholders as well," Conboy said.
On Sunday, after the deal between Xerox and Fuji Film was nixed and the Xerox CEO resigned, Carl Icahn issued this statement: "We are extremely pleased that Xerox finally terminated the ill-advised scheme to cede control of the company to Fujifilm. With that behind us and new shareholder-focused leadership in place, today marks a new beginning for Xerox. We have often said that the most important person at a company (by far) is the CEO. We are therefore also pleased that John Visentin, a tried and true veteran in this area, will be taking the helm."
Brean: "Do you think Xerox still cares about people like you?"
Gary Peacock, President XRX Pioneer Club: "Does hell no work?"
Brean: "Why do you say that?"
Peacock: "All the insurances and stuff have all been dropped."
There's still a small life insurance plan but Peacock says health and dental coverage for Xerox retirees is long gone.
And so is the future of his club.
Today at their kitchen table in Webster, Peacock and his wife Judy were going over the guest list for Wednesday's Pioneer Club lunch. It might be the last one.
Xerox gives the club no money and the club has so few volunteers its board voted to dissolve at its April meeting.
"Might as well fold up the tent and go home," Peacock said.
There's a second vote to dissolve in September and Gary Peacock thinks the club will shut down sometime in 2019.
The president of the Association of Retired Xerox Employees says there are approximately 10,000 Xerox retirees in the Rochester area.
The Xerox retiree benefit packages break down into three groups.
The old plan: 33,000 retirees
The new plan: 4,000 retirees
And the flex plan: 30,000 retirees.
David Coriale of ARXE shared this comment:
"It appears to me with Sunday's announcements that Icahn and Deason have completed their takeover of the Xerox board and the company. My personal interests are with the retirees of Xerox and whatever benefits that remain for some of them. The impact to the two remaining Xerox paid retirement health benefits plans for those who retired prior to 1/1/1995 are uncertain and are subject to change and elimination. This will be of immediate interest to the retirees and are not addressed in the announcements. Since they represent current costs to the company, it would be a concern to me that they will be considered for elimination.
One also has to be concerned about what is going to happen with the current Xerox employees as this change in control of the company goes forward. The major retirement pension benefit that these current employees have is the RIGP (Retirement Income Guarantee Plan) which is still in existence and is viewed by the current employees who qualify for it as a safety net for their departure. How this benefit will be handled in any future transactions that the new Board undertakes needs to be clarified. As this new twist in the future of Xerox unfolds, one has to wonder what impact it will have on the current employees and their future with the company.
One has to consider how Icahn and Deason view the importance and value of the employees in their quest to extract the maximum value for the shareholders of the company. Past transactions that Icahn has been involved in would suggest that employees are not at the top of his priority list."
Updated: May 16, 2018 08:48 AM
Created: May 15, 2018 04:26 PM
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