When it laid off 3,400 Circuit City veterans - 8 percent of its work force - last week, the giant electronics retailer discarded decency along with better-paid, knowledgable staffers who are being replaced by lower-paid knuckle-draggers.There are, in fact, companies that pay higher-than-average wages to their workers to encourage productivity and lower turnover. Those same companies are subjected to shareholder lawsuits for their trouble, and more often than not forced to eventually cave to the pressures of the market.
The icing on the cake? Laid-off workers, after 10 weeks (giving them time to sell their cars, tell their kids they're not going to college and refinance their homes), can apply for their old jobs at a fraction of their former salary.
Almost as disgusting was Wall Street's reaction - driving the stock price up, as it always does when Americans are fired or degraded.
I placed a call to Circuit City Chairman, President and CEO Philip J. Schoonover to ask how much he would cut from the $4.5 million CC says he got last year....
When it comes to executive pay, corporations match maximum salaries, to be competitive, they say.
When it comes to workers, they match minimum salaries.