Court screws former Trib employees

So let me get this straight: the bankruptcy court in the Tribune’s case has approved $13 million in bonuses to be paid to 700 employees, including, one assumes, the people who drove the company into bankruptcy in the first place. However, the court ruled against 60 former employees who were trying to get $2 million in severance pay promised to them when they were laid off.

When you get dumped by a company that’s headed for bankruptcy, your severance becomes a debt, and you must get in line with other creditors hoping to get their money, too. It’s crap, but that’s life in the big city. However, those creditors deserve to get paid more than employees within a bankrupt company deserve their bonuses. At least those employees still have jobs. Isn’t that “bonus” enough?

It’s stuff like this that drives everybody zonkers in the world of contemporary right and wrong.


  1. http://tdc says

    ok, you probably tire hearing me blather on about everything on your excellent blog, but let’s take your example a few steps further‐

    how about the thousands of folks in today’s auto industry that devoted their lives (they were well paid for their time) to their company and were promised retirement and health care and heaven knows what else.

    i imagine their fate will be similar to those of the tribune tribe.

    can you imagine them actually buying the product they once staunchly defended when those promises are broken and those benefits taken away?

    from day one, when gov. granholm started with the “no one will buy a car from a bankrupt automaker”, i thought this.

    i also thought about how ridiculous those glasses look on her, but i’ll save that for another comment.

  2. http://rss says

    I am one of the “Tribune tribe”.…and I was forced to take a “buyout” back in November ’08…promised a severance, (heck, I even have the signed agreement in my hand), and then it was put on hold since December…one day before I was supposed to get my money. Since then, and due to the scarce job market out here in Denver, I’ve had to go through most (almost all of) my 401k $
    (which was a fight, mind you, to even get out of the company at the time), to live on…rent, car payments, utilities, food…

    How does this judge sleep at night? How does a judge, in 2009, side with corporate fat cats and screw over 63, hard‐working, loyal employees, who devoted their lives…(I moved here from Florida, after having worked with a Trib TV affiliate in Miami for years, to take a job with Tribune’s Denver station, and left my family and a dying Grandfather behind).

    Tribune should have to treated like every other company in the country…like AIG.…put the bonuses on hold until the employees can get their money. It’s only right.

    Sadly enough, only in America, can a corporation, full of “fat‐cat” execs who drag a company into bankruptcy in the first place, be granted bonuses, and not be held responsible to pay their hard‐working people.

    Can’t billionaire Sam Zell sell the CUBS to pay his employees? Or one of his many dying newspapers?
    It’s bull. They could pay employees if they really wanted to. Just send us our checks. It’s a s simple as that.

    And Tribune was “worried about the morale issued of current employees”???
    Tribune talks a good talk…for the public…but behinf the scenes…the bottom line is, they JUST DON’T WANT TO PAY.

    Good luck with ANY morale from now on, Tribune.

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