business news in context, analysis with attitude

We continue to get email about hazard pay mandates and how retailers are responding by closing marginal stores where the pay hikes will drive them into being non-viable.

One MNB reader wrote:

Consider this: Kroger’s multiple Divisions operate with differing unions for the employees, if Kroger has to pay the employees at those 3 stores $5 more per hour, they will need to pay ALL union members, in ALL stores the same $5/hour  increase. Rather than the extra $20M in extra bay, over time, that could add up to additional hundreds of millions in the near term. Can you blame them for shuttering? Remains to be seen if these will be permanent closures.

Another MNB reader wrote:

You are right on about your stance on this.  There is a right way and a wrong way to do it.  Government interference in this case is definitely not the right way.  If they don’t understand the business, maybe they should before they take these kind of stances. 

And from another reader:

Agree with you Kevin and support your POV that it is “bad public policy”.

MNB reader Frederic Van Roie wrote:

So easy to look generous while spending other people’s money.

We noted yesterday that AMC theaters are reopening around the country, but also wrote:

I am still staggered by one thing, however … AMC had total 2020 revenue of  $162.5 million and yet, according to the Hollywood Reporter, AMC CEO Adam Aron "received compensation of $20.92 million in 2020, up from $9.67 million in 2019."  I'm not sure exactly what the pay boost was a reward for, and his compensation package is more than 10 percent of the company's total annual revenue.  Must be a cold comfort to all the AMC employees who lost their paychecks during the year to know that at least their boss didn't have to suffer.

One MNB reader wrote:

Kevin, you hit the nail on the head.  Contracts for execs have always had some disproportionate entities in them.  So, this is probably no different.  How many top execs have you heard of that come in, ruin a company and then get a huge payout going out the door.  Not a bad gig to get paid for a demolition job, and then ride off into the sunset leaving all others in the rubble.  This will come back to bite AMC. 

On another subject, I got the following email from MNB reader Lee Mannering:

Last week one of your readers shared the frustration in how vaccines were being distributed in their state.

I just read this morning about this website which searches vaccine availability across states and multiple retail providers.  

Thought it worth sharing, especially with those trying to locate appointments for loved ones.