Top CEOs detail efforts to better support workers in letter to Warren

Top CEOs detail efforts to better support workers in letter to Warren
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A group representing the nation's CEOs is laying out how companies are focusing less on maximizing profits for shareholders in a letter to 2020 hopeful Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenBiden says he won't legalize marijuana because it may be a 'gateway drug' Democrats seize on report of FedEx's Elizabeth Warren tax bill to slam Trump's tax plan Warren 'fully committed' to 'Medicare for All' MORE (D-Mass.), after she pressed them on their efforts.

Business Roundtable (BRT) announced in August that corporations’ main goals can no longer be to maximize profits for shareholders and called on investors to also “support companies that build long-term value by investing in their employees and communities.”

But Warren said the group should provide more details.

“I write for information about the tangible actions you intend to take to implement the principles,” Warren wrote in a letter to ten Business Roundtable CEOs earlier this month. She requested a response by Oct. 25.

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BRT CEO Josh Bolten sent a letter to Warren on Monday highlighting CEO efforts to expand worker training, raise wages, support new employee health and wellness benefits and promote more sustainable businesses.

“As the Statement made clear, Business Roundtable CEOs remain strongly committed to preserving America’s free market system, which has produced the most prosperous nation in history, and maintaining it for current and future generations,” the letter reads. “While a prosperous and growing economy is a prerequisite to expanding economic opportunity, our members recognize that more can be done.”

BRT said it supports an increase in the national minimum wage and that its companies have taken steps to increase their own minimum wage. It said members are pushing for investment in infrastructure, emphasizing job training to create economic opportunity, and pushing for Congress to pass a federal privacy law.

Warren also asked for information on whether BRT supported her Accountable Capitalism Act, which would create a new office inside the Department of Commerce and require a company with over $1 billion in revenue to have a federal charter of corporate citizenship.

Bolten’s letter said that proposal would be counterproductive to the goal of increasing economic opportunity.

“Given our diverse economy, business decisions about how best to serve employees and deliver high-quality goods and services to customers require flexibility within the private sector. Creating a new government entity to oversee those decisions would undermine U.S. competitiveness and result in less innovation,” the letter reads.