At Gannett, owners get the mine, workers get the shaft
May 18, 2011 2 Comments
From Jim Hightower, here’s a story that says much about the state of today’s media – and of the economy in general: For the past several years, Gannett has been laying off workers by the thousands, piling more and more duties on fewer and fewer people. In addition, those remaining workers have had a salary freeze in effect – in addition to up to four weeks of unpaid furlough per year – a month’s salary down the drain.
This year turned out to be no different. More furloughs; no raises. Gannett will save $17 million this year keeping these two punitive measures in place.
$17 million. Keep that figure in mind when you read the next paragraph from Hightower:
Only two months later, bonuses totaling $3 million were quietly bestowed on the top two. To add a cherry to this sweet delight, the duo also were awarded stock options and deferred pay totaling as much as $17 million.
$17 million in lost pay for 32,000 workers. Bonuses as high as $17 million for two top executives.
I would never advocate violence, but people lost their heads in the French Revolution over a hell of a lot less.
No one is worth $8.5 million a year, no matter what they may tell themselves – especially no one who is currently presiding over the decline of the once-great institution of the American press.
This ought to be a crime, and anyone working at Gannett ought to be looking for a new job, or a different line of work.