I’ll admit that I’m not the one to come to if you need money management advice. But like many other Americans, the idea of AIG handing out bonuses to executives after being bailed out with taxpayer monies, just doesn’t sit well with me. And I’m unconvinced by AIG’s claim that they are contractually bound to make these bonus payouts; the employees hit certain goals for which the bonuses were promised.
Personally, I think company on the verge of failure should have no obligation to fulfill any such contract. It seems to me that the bigger necessity would be to keep the business running, so it can do what it was saved to do. I mean…if the sales and revenue were worth bonusing, wouldn’t the company be healthier?
On this point I’m conflicted because I was recently laid off from a company that went under through no fault of its owners or employees. But during those last few difficult months, we employees felt the struggle for the company to stay afloat, in reduced hours or pay. The CEO hadn’t taken a salary for months before he was forced to cut the author pay and eventually the time for which he could pay internal staff. It was painful, but how else was he supposed to sustain his business?
I think the same principle applies for this situation with AIG. Sure they may have these contracts, but the company can’t actually afford to pay employee bonuses – however deserving that employee may or may not be – in its current condition.
On the other hand, I can see AIG wanting to retain the people they consider valuable; their top talent so to speak. There may well be a few folks wondering what their incentive is to stay at a company when they have to settle for not getting the compensation they were promised and believe they deserve. However if taxpayers have to save a company from failure, the employees should have to shoulder some of that responsibility as well.
I can see how for AIG this might be a very difficult decision to make; I certainly don’t envy their HR departments who are probably fighting to save employee comps. But since the company can’t really afford those comps – to the point of needing government/taxpayer assistance – no, employees should not be awarded bonuses. If I’m missing something, please explain it to me, because it seems rather simple to me.