Monday, March 30, 2009

They Write Letters

Philly Guild writes to its members:

Dear Guild member,

Three months after Philadelphia Newspapers pressured the Guild and its other unions to postpone a $25 raise, its three most senior executives received a total of $650,000 in bonuses, Philadelphia magazine reported over the weekend. In December, Brian Tierney, Philadelphia Media Holdings CEO, received a holiday bonus of $350,000, while Daily News Publisher Mark Frisby and Richard Thayer, vice president of finance, both received payments of $150,000 the magazine reports. PMH Chairman Bruce Toll confirmed the bonuses for the magazine. The Guild has learned that other senior managers also received year-end bonuses and is working to uncover more information.

Surely by December PMH knew the company would soon declare bankruptcy, as it did last month, so the year-end cash rewards are shocking.

Last summer your Guild officers stood before the membership and encouraged members to vote to delay a $25 raise we had bargained in 2006. The company laid out a dire financial picture which painted any savings as vital to the future of the organization. We asked you to sacrifice what you had earned in the belief that it was for the good of the company. Clearly we were more concerned about the company than the senior management who rewarded themselves with increases totaling more than $400,000 (The three agreed last month in bankruptcy court to roll their salaries back) and as we have now learned, cash bonuses of at least $650,000.