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Friday, December 15, 2017

Circuit City Corporate reports intention move to Mars

Credit:

This press release certainly had to be expected, as their recent announcement could only have been originated by somebody residing on a different planet.

It was a sunny Saturday in Los Angeles. A perfect day for a backyard BBQ. "Hey, Slats, how's it at work, you're still at Circuit City right?, asked Sergio. Slats quaffed the last of his frosty cold one and responded, "Oh, yeah! Going on 20 years now, I am going to retire there, getting $18 an hour now and bene's.....A great company, I work my ass off, but you know, security in life is a biggie."

FAST FORWARD ONE WEEK

"you wanted to see me boss?, asks Slats, as he slides down into the chair. "Yes", replies Bob, the Boss, "I'm sorry but we have to let you go. You are just earning well above the market-based salary range for your role."

That exact "scenario" took place for 3400 Circuit City employees on Wednesday, March 28th. The official Circuit City website was extremely blunt in its announcement, obviously ready to suffer though any short-term bad publicity. The corporate statement..."The company has completed a wage management initiative that will result in the separation of approximately 3,400 store Associates. The separations, which are occurring today, focused on Associates who were paid well above the market-based salary for their role. New Associates will be hired for those positions and compensated at the current market range for the job."....short and not so sweet.

In the same company press release, Philip J. Schoonover, chairman, president and chief executive officer of Circuit City Stores, Inc. said, "We are taking a number of aggressive actions to improve our cost and expense structure, which will better position us for improved and sustainable returns in today's marketplace."...."Unfortunately, a number of Associates are directly impacted by the actions, but we are making Circuit City stronger for the long term." There was no mention of any proposed pay cuts for Mr Schoonover or any other Circuit City executives.

Let me translate this for you in simple English. Circuit City is FIRING, not "separating" 3400 employees because they have earned salary increases over their long time employment with the company. They are being fired and replaced by "new hires" at hourly rates that are below the poverty level. According to www.latimes.com, "In 11 weeks they'll, (the fired employees), be able to apply for their old positions---which will come with lower hourly wages." I have seen a figure of about $9 an hour in print. Circuit City refused to give give any details of what it paid it's nonunion workforce or what the prevailing market rates are, saying they widely vary across the county.

They can't do that, you say, "That's illegal!, Nay, says an eBay forum blog, "In California, formally one of the strongest right to work states, the courts ruled five years ago that laying off experienced employees to replace them with employees with lower wages is legal so long as the company determines it is necessary to meet their profit objectives."

Even the well known, "devourer of small town American businesses", Wal-Mart didn't have the coyones to fire their veteran employees. They bit the bullet and merely capped their pay. According to Yahoo Financial News, "Circuit City's cuts come at a time when other retailers are trying to put more knowledgeable workers on store floors. Home Depot has raised pay to attract skilled trades people. They expect to add 15,000 new jobs this year."

It will be interesting to see how customer service at Circuit City will be affected.
Customer,... "What kind of laptops are on sale?
New Associate,... "Umm, new ones?"

Only in America.....The company's stock rose 35 cents, or 1.9 percent, to close at $19.23 on the New York Stock Exchange. Circuit City expects to reap $110 million in savings next year.

www.biz.yahoo.com www.newsroom.circuitcity.com www.latimes.com www.ecommercetimes.com
eBay forum blog-author unknown
Letters to the editor, Ventura County Star 4/3/07



About the Writer

Steven Lane is a writer for BrooWaha. For more information, visit the writer's website.
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4 comments on Circuit City Corporate reports intention move to Mars

Log In To Vote   Score: 0
By Kay C on April 05, 2007 at 01:11 pm
"Profit objectives" -- yes, there seems to come a time when capitalism starts to eat itself. Thanks for the article, Steven.
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By Steven Lane on April 05, 2007 at 01:42 pm
Sorry, a couple of references were short on their web pages. Circuit City---http://newsroom.circuitcity.com/releasedetail.cfm?ReleaseID=23835 Yahoo Biz---http://biz.yahoo.com/ap/070328/circuit_city_layoffs.html?.v=10&printer=1
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Log In To Vote   Score: -1
By V on April 08, 2007 at 10:53 pm
Spread the word. Thank you for the great article Steve!
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Log In To Vote   Score: -1
By Annonymous on April 11, 2007 at 06:20 pm
"so long as the company determines it is necessary to meet their profit objectives." I wonder if the suits on the hill will define a reasonable "profit objective" before or after the majority of people are living below the poverty level. Fuck it. Revolution anyone?
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