Lumps of coal to this

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, December 19, 2006

For some executives, bankruptcy is the gift that keeps on giving.

Pillowtex has come up with almost $2.7 million more in bonus money for its top brass — three years after the company shut its doors.

Talk about the ghost of Christmas past. Once a proud company bearing the Cannon name, Pillowtex laid off some 4,000 people in Rowan and Cabarrus counties when it hit bottom. Yet there’s enough cash left to give big bucks to executives.

Take Michael Gannaway, please. He became CEO of Pillowtex in March 2003, and the company announced it was closing at the end of July 2003. Yet Gannaway can now expect another $251,139 in Pillowtex bonus pay on top of the $300,000 he already received.

Good lord. What would the company have given Gannaway if he had succeeded in keeping the doors open — a blank check?

A total of 37 executives and other salaried employees will get a piece of this latest bankruptcy pie, which could very well give thousands of former mill workers heart burn. The situation is heavily seasoned with unfairness and lopsided bankruptcy law. The people at the bottom lose jobs and security; the people at the top get fat bonuses. Scrooge would be proud.