Deeds calls on Circuit City execs to take care of their employees

I hear the mantra quite often: “Take care of your employees, and they will take care of you.”

Unfortunately, when you’re going out of business, like Circuit City, you might wonder whether the senior management cares at all.

According to Creigh Deeds, a candidate seeking the Democratic nomination for Virginia governor, Circuit City executives are set to receive $4.6 million in bonuses as their employees lose health care coverage on March 31. He is calling on the executives to not accept that money and use it towards extending the employees’ coverage.

“The issue here is fairness. It’s just not acceptable to ask for multi-million dollar executive bonuses while denying health care to laid-off workers,” said Creigh Deeds, “The company failed, so I question why the executives think they deserve any bonuses at all. Corporate responsibility requires that we look out for all of those who have lost their jobs, not just those at the top of the salary scale.”

In some respects Deeds is right. While I feel that those who manage get paid to take risks, be creative, and direct the company, when it fails, they clearly did not do their job. So, like a ship’s captain, shouldn’t they go down with the ship? Shouldn’t their crew get to the life rafts first?

After all, the buck has to stop with the executives. If they get paid handsomely for the company’s success, shouldn’t they be equally culpable for its failure?

When a worker signs onto the company, they work hard at their job as they are told to do. For most of those set to lose their health care, they did everything that was asked of them.

But those senior executives, whose job was to keep the company solvent, clearly failed.

Yet the execs are getting the reward while the workers are getting the shaft?

Something is clearly backwards here.

Businesses fail. It’s the risk of the free market. But integrity, responsibility, and honor is universal. It would be nice to see the Circuit City executives exhibit some.

Good for Sen. Deeds at speaking out on this issue. Especially on behalf of the 1500 Henrico County Circuit City employees who are set to lose their jobs. (As an aside though, it is clearly a populist message. If you divide $4.3 million by the 34,000 nationwide set to lose their jobs, it amounts to about $126 per person. That’s not likely to have much impact. But if the money were to be put into an account and used on an as needed basis???)

  • Mark

    You obviously haven’t been paying attention to the ass-backwards system we’ve been creating in this nation. The execs always land on their feet with the aid of a golden parachute – even when it was their decisions which caused the company to fail, the workers just get a kick in the rear, a loss of a job, no health insurance, and eventually a trip into foreclosure.

    Seriously, what happened to personal responsibility in this country? We’ve created a nation where the only individuals who suffer are those who do the real work, while those responsible for the failure head off to the country club in a new foreign luxury car.

  • I’ve been paying attention. I’m just getting tired of seeing it happen.

  • Jim, I can’t tell you how well put this is. And thank you for paying attention. You’re right, the ship’s captain should go down with the ship – or at least not be the first to bail, leaving everybody else to sink. You’re also right that responsibility honesty and integrity are universal values. And they are the cornerstone of good leadership.

    Again, thanks for this post.

  • Yes, we should let the executives fall so they can qualify for Obama’s stimulus package.

  • Mark

    Jim – you and I are on the same page here. Once upon a time when a company was in trouble the executives and the board would take austerity measures personally and engage the issue directly professionally – now? Now all anyone seems to care about is the quick buck.

    I think this is a supreme moral failure in our society which more than anything will lead to our downfall as a great power unless we can reverse this me-first, employees/ nation-last attitude among too many of the privileged class in our society.

  • Ex-Circuit City Assoc thanks to people in charge

    Associates can’t get their paychecks handled correctly, but execs get a multi-billion dollar stay on bonus? Wow, what fairness? We are the ones responsible for making the money and you were responsible for putting the company in the pooper. You know, a lot of us have been with the company for many years, most of us have been around longer than anyone in the executive offices in Richmond. We once had this as a great company, we were proud to work hard to make Circuit City # 1.Then these execs come in, most from Best Buy, and run it in to the ground. I know you all don’t care, you have made your money and you will be off to another company. I just wish your next companies a lot of luck, they are going to need it. Whoever is in charge, if you are reading this, please, please, please do not give out the stay on bonuses, they do not deserve it.
    Bonuses are for a job well done. Do you feel they have done that, now that Circuit City is gone? I hope all the people who were in charge of this company can sleep at night knowing what they caused. Their greed is what did Circuit City in. All they asked us to do, and all that we did to satisfy them and their numbers, some things so ridiculous to make them look good and this is the thanks we get. I won’t mention any names, they all know who they are it will all come back to you one day. As they say, what comes around goes around and yours is coming, one day you will get yours. Best of luck to any company that hires these “so called Execs”. They killed Circuit City and they are their way to kill you company too.

  • This is the best technique to be followed, I must say that really being here and not using this will really be silly. Will you please reply with more information here? I think you have a good response and it will definitely help a lot. As this forum has really been a good platform for us all, contributing to this will really be healthy for our and your business as well. We all are waiting for a good informative response. Thanks a lot for this, waiting for more.

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