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Cabela’s executives challenged to add to redundancy fund

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Former Cabela’s executives are being urged to donate to a fund to help employees, who will lose their jobs at its headquarters in Sidney, Nebraska.

As employees sweat over how many of them will lose their jobs following the $5 billion takeover by rival chain, Bass Pro Shops, its new owner has called on former Cabela’s executives to donate money from their severance packages to help pay for the redundancies.

Johnny Morris, Bass Pro Shops CEO, has asked former Cabela’s executives and owners, who got large ‘golden parachute’ payments from the sale as well as a profit from its stock, to contribute to the severance fund for average workers at its headquarters in Sidney, Nebraska.

As part of the challenge, Morris has said that he will personally match all of the contributions to the severance fund, up to $10 million. Bass Pro has already indicated it will pay an additional $10 million on top of its normal redundancy package to help the people in Sidney.

“While I know the former owners and executives are under no obligation to lend additional support, I hope they consider doing so,’ said Morris in a statement. As reported in the last Communiqué Online, Bass Pro has already outlined its plans for many parts of the Cabela’s operation, including retaining all Nebraska stores, call centres and the distribution warehouse in Sidney.

It will also keep 125 Cabela’s information technology employees and some accounting and finance jobs, but has not revealed the extent of job losses overall.

Bass Pro spokesman Jack Wlezien said this was to avoid making false promises. However, he added that the ‘vast majority’ of Cabela’s jobs companywide – many of them retail store positions – will be retained.

“Our intent, as reflected by our actions to date, has been to avoid making false promises and we will continue to be very thoughtful and candid before making commitments,’ he said.

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