Lee Enterprises CEO Mary Junck earned a $700,000 bonus even though her company is still recovering from its pre-packaged bankruptcy.
A big chunk of the company’s workforce exited in layoffs in recent years. Many surviving employees suffered pay cuts, unpaid furloughs and increased workloads. Lee stock is still selling at a small fraction of its former price.
Those still working for Lee are trying to do more with less. Post-Dispatch carpenter Scott Bujnak had enough of that, especially in light of Junck’s bonus. So he quit his job in protest.
Bill McClellan addressed the topic in his column in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch:
Scott Bujnak became a folk hero last Wednesday. He told the boss he didn’t want to work for the company any more.
Bujnak is 56. He had worked for the company for 18 years. He was the head carpenter. Talented and popular. He and his two-man crew did all the remodeling projects. Plus, maintenance.
Business being what it is these days — all about the bottom line — most of the remodeling projects were done on shoestring budgets. And Scott was a master at recycling. Mix cans of old paint together and see what colors you get. Reuse mismatched carpet squares instead of buying new.
Maintenance was sometimes a salvage operation. Take three broken chairs and cannibalize them. Take the wheels off this one. Take the seat off that one. Take the back off the third. Make a new chair.
If that’s what you have to do, that’s what you do. Save $10 here, $50 there. It adds up.
Then Bujnak read that the big boss — the boss who runs the company that owns the company for which Bujnak worked — was getting a $700,000 bonus.
“That was the straw that broke the camel’s back,” said Bujnak.