During the tech meltdown my company did something similiar. Regular employees took 5% cuts, management took 10% cuts. The benefits got worse in a dozen little ways.
It was hard to get too worked up about it because it was obviously a terrible time in the industry, and it was clear that most companies in our field were fighting for survival.
I think it was very important symbolically that management took a larger cut than the rest of the workers.
We survived, although it was touch and go for awhile.
For people in my field, the tech meltdown was a much, much worse recession than the 2009 one.
Originally Posted by clifp
Within a year of joining my former employer. It was announced that all salaries were being cut by 10% (except for directors and above who took a 10% cut and eliminated executive bonuses) we are all told that in addition we were all told that from now on we were expected to work 10% more per week; and our "flex tim"e was we could arrive anytime before 8 AM and leave anytime after 6 PM except on Fridays when 5 PM was allowed. Hourly workers were exempt from the 10% more hours. (I think plenty of guys learned how to operated office machinery when the admins left at 5...
Times weren't great in Silicon Valley at the time, so I and most of my coworkers stuck with it, thankful that we were not part of the large number they were laid off. They did however grant additional stock options, and repriced existing ones to $.625/share.
About a year and half when the company returned to profitability. They threw a big party, gave us a bonus to that made up for our lost wages and announced a new profit sharing plan. Reading accounts later, the company was fairly close to going under and the RIFs and pay cuts quite possibly made the difference between survival and bankruptcy and if management did not do this I probably wouldn't have retired early.
I guess the point being that in not all cases is upper management trying to screw its employees. Although in general I agree with Ziggy, in this job market many corporations are ruthless cutting wage expenses, because they can.