After months of simmering indignation, LA Times staffers are suing new owner Sam Zell and the Tribune Co. for irresponsible behaviour, including depriving employees of their pensions and eliminating more than a thousand jobs.
The complaint, filed Tuesday in federal court in Los Angeles, alleges the structure of the buyout — executed through an Employee Stock Ownership Plan — and Zell’s conduct have diminished the value of Tribune Co. in order to benefit himself and fellow board members…
The suit, which seek class-action status, alleges that through “destructive management and self-dealings,” Zell and his co-fiduciaries have breached their fiduciary duties to the ESOP beneficiaries. It also alleges that Zell has de-funded employees retirement packages, raided the employee pension fund for more than $400 million, and eliminated more than a thousand Tribune Co. jobs at the Los Angeles Times, Baltimore Sun and Chicago Tribune.
In a news release, the plaintiffs said they do not seek to enrich themselves. “Rather, their announced intentions are: to protect Tribune Company’s pension and retirement funds; to give the employee-owners a place at the table with regard to management of their assets; and to remove Zell and his cronies from the Tribune Company’s board in order to save what is left of a still great news gathering operation,” the announcement said.
You can read the full complaint, if you’re into that sort of thing and have a few hours to spare, below. Warning: It’s 115 pages.
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.