You see these corporations talking about getting lean and restructuring. That means downsizing. Why? Because they think they have an opportunity. Now, many of the employees have been laid off temporarily, or temporarily at home, the corporations think this is an opportunity to reopen with fewer employees. It would be such a scandal if corporations now took taxpayer dollars and then laid off workers, and reopened. It would be such a scandal, and a fraud if these corporations were allowed to receive government money, lay off workers, and then government taxpayers had to subsidize the workers who were laid off. So, my law is very simple. If you take government funds, you must rehire the same number of workers you had pre- pandemic. If you take government funds, you must rehire the same number of employees you had pre-pandemic. If you want to lay people off, if you want to get lean, if you want to restructure, fine. But don’t use taxpayer money to subsidize it and don’t think taxpayers are going to pay you to lay off employees and then wind up with an unemployment problem at the end of the day.
That’s what happened in 2008. I was attorney general. I brought the cases afterwards. I brought actions against AIG and against banks like Bank of America that took these bailout funds, and then gave themselves bonuses and parties. Don’t make the same mistake twice. The American taxpayers are doing what they have to do. Don’t make fools of the American taxpayers.
By Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo