There's nothing like people making fools of themselves in the grocery store over who gets the last Twinkie while thousands of people are losing their jobs to make you sick to your stomach. Oh, except maybe this. The Hostess company has just gotten permission to hand out nearly $2 million in bonuses to a group of top executives.
Maybe that doesn't sound like such a big deal. After all, there are about 19 executives who will be splitting up the cash, so that's only about $92,000 apiece.
Only. As a bonus as the company is being shut down.
Already the union has been given leave to fire 15,000 employees. Hostess can't cough up the money for people's retirement.
And the Hostess executives are getting at least $92,000 in bonuses in order to guarantee that they will stay around and actually do what needs to be done as they shut down. We're not talking about salary they're owed here. We're talking an incentive to get them to clean up the giant mess they made.
What happened to personal responsibility? You destroy something, you pick up the pieces. And you don't ask for extra money to do it, certainly not when said money could go to someone who truly needs it to feed their kids and pay the gas company.
It sounds like something a child would demand: "Hey, Mom, I just threw all my toys on the floor; how about you pay me to clean them up?" No self-respecting parent would say yes. No self-respecting executive should take the bonus.
The problem with Hostess isn't -- as many who have opted out on reading the fine print on what's gone down in the company -- with the union that begged for a living wage for their workers. The problem with Hostess is with the management that failed to move its junk food business into the health-conscious age. It's with the private equity backers who saddled the company with debt. It's with a CEO still being paid $100,000 a MONTH even as the company is folding.
Like dozens of failed corporations before it, Hostess and its executive bonuses are showing us that the people who make the mistakes are more than willing to let other people suffer for them. But God forbid they may have to face up to the consequences ...
What do you think of the bonuses for the Hostess execs? Should they just suck it up and clean up their mess without an extra paycheck to reward them?
Image via Christian Cable