Ex-Qimonda workers protest bonuses to current workers

By Andy Jenks - bio | email
Posted by Phil Riggan - email

HENRICO, VA (WWBT) - Months after their final paychecks bounced, many Qimonda workers are protesting a new bonus program being paid to the co-workers who kept their jobs at the Eastern Henrico plant.

Many were shocked to find out that the chip-maker somehow pulled together $1.24 million to spread out among 46 of the company's most important remaining employees. So they organized a protest in hopes of getting a piece of that pie.

Former Qimonda workers protesting today were angry. Some of them, perhaps, even going broke by now -- months after they were laid off from one of the region's largest employers.

"Feel like we got robbed. Plain and simple," said John Tiemann, a former Qimonda employee. "They never paid me my 401(k) or bunch of other people's, and  I found out a few others didn't get their last paycheck."

Their anger comes from a judge's ruling allowing the payments.

Qimonda calls it an incentive program -- to keep a core group of engineers and support staff around while the bankrupt company winds down its business.

The laid off workers are crying foul -- because it's money they say, belongs to them.

"Because it's what we've earned," said Mark Turner, another former Qimonda employee. "We were loyal employees right up until the end up to the day that we all left, and this is money that is  owed to us.

The money amounts to a maximum $27,000 dollar bonus for each of the 46 workers who are still employed here.

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