TORONTO – A union representing Canadian journalists is calling on five executives at the struggling Postmedia newspaper chain to return their bonuses totalling $2.275 million.
The company awarded Postmedia president and CEO Paul Godfrey $900,000, CFO Doug Lamb $450,000, COO Andrew MacLeod $425,00, legal and general counsel Jeffrey Haar $300,000 and National Post president Gordon Fisher $200,000.
The bonuses were part of a retention plan to keep key employees with the company during and after its recently completed debt restructuring, which reduced its total debt of $648 million by about $307 million.
Postmedia said last month it was looking to cut salary costs by 20 per cent.
The Communications Workers of America (CWA) Canada President Martin O’Hanlon said in a statement that the executives are acting in an unconscionable manner by accepting the extra money while asking employees to volunteer for buyouts or risk another round of layoffs.
The newspaper chain offered its employees voluntary buyouts in late October. The company has not yet announced whether the program reached that target, but has said layoffs may be necessary otherwise.
Postmedia spokeswoman Phyllise Gelfand said the company had no comment on the union’s demand.