Wanted: more news like this

Written By: - Date published: 9:44 am, February 2nd, 2012 - 16 comments
Categories: capitalism - Tags:

A remarkably nice worker/boss story from across the ditch:

Australian Ken Grenda may have sold his bus company, but his staff of almost 2,000 are smiling.

Mr Grenda gave cash bonuses totalling A$15m ($16m, £10m) from proceeds of the sale to employees of his 66-year-old Melbourne-based company.

The bonuses, averaging A$8,500, were based on the length of service. Some workers received A$30,000 to A$100,000 each, Australian media reported.

Read the full story here

16 comments on “Wanted: more news like this”

  1. Bored 1

    Good man, obviously has an idea of who does what and provides what value. Betcha he has not spent a fortune on CEO salaries and bonuses over the years.

  2. Bunji 2

    In the Herald’s version of the piece:

    And he has a message for other bosses – look after your staff and don’t get greedy.
    “I get totally dismayed when you see the level of salaries some chief executive officers get. I think it’s far above what anybody’s worth.”

    • Ianupnorth 2.1

      heard this on the radio yesterday and thought what a decent bloke, actually realises it was the workers that made the company.

  3. Craig Glen Eden 3

    This guy is worthy of praise, clearly for any business to be a success you have to have good managers and workers trying to achieve the same goal, the success of the business.I bet he was a good bloke to work for to and one things foreshore he will be remembered by the workers and their families for many years probably generations.

  4. james 111 4

    Yes great guy many employers are like this but because of the money he earns he would still be classified as a Rich Prick by most of your lot.
    Totally unfair I agree as alot of rich people do alot for others who arent so fortunate

    • Draco T Bastard 4.1

      alot of rich people do alot for others who arent so fortunate

      No they don’t, they whinge that they’re paying too much tax and that all the poor aren’t working hard enough despite the facts that the poor are paying higher taxes than them and that they work harder as well.

    • Colonial Viper 4.2

      Yes great guy many employers are like this but because of the money he earns he would still be classified as a Rich Gentleman by most of your lot.


      By the way mate, because it strangely doesn’t seem to have occurred to you yet, its not the money which makes someone a prick, it’s the fact that they are a prick.

  5. newsense 5

    All the more reason to move to Australia where to become rich doesn’t necessarily mean to become a xxxx. What’s the point of making it alone? Why not take everyone with you?

    This is exactly the same logic NZ citizens followed in deciding their country should be different from the Europe they’d left in the late 19thC. Think deportations and hefty punishments for stealing bread due to poverty, hideous factory conditions and child labour.

    Also nice to see some recognition that you can’t run a business without people and that successful businesses often have settled personnel and a lot of institutional memory.

  6. james 111 6

    Totally agree great employer. Many employers fit this category because of what they give and do for those that arent so fortunate.

    The shame is because of your generic classification they would still be rich pricks in your books because they earn above bread line even though they are actually really nice people.

    • Ianupnorth 6.1

      There is a difference between a rick prick and a rich boss; a rich prick, like a certain Mr. Key, made his money by speculating on currencies, making cash out of others misfortunes.
      On the other hand Ken Grenda made his money by buying and driving buses,  by training others to do the same and by developing his business; or in other words, those normally used by the RWNJ’s, by being productive. Consequently his graft (not his bets) afforded him a comfortable lifestyle, but one that did not stop him and his family baking cakes for the staff.
      Your typical rich prick is greedy, Ken Grenda appears not to be. Most of the philanthropists throughout history were affluent, but not rich pricks.

      Maybe enlighten yourself a bit – was this man a rich prick, a capitalist, a philanthropist or a social engineer?



    • Gawd James 111 you are not even an adequate troll. 
      Laws are there to provide minimum standards.  Good employers have nothing to fear from them.

  7. Mike 7

    The reason that one Melbourne bus company (Grenda) can be sold to another (the now-gigantic Ventura) for a staggering $400 million is that these private bus companies have a monopoly on their routes and are paid many many tens of millions of dollars in subsidies by the state government to operate them.

    Some years ago, the state government tried to put bus routes out to tender to get the best value for taxpayers’ dollars, but the courts ruled the companies had grandfather rights to the routes because they had operated them for years, and thus they could not be transferred to a new owner via tendering.

    All Melbourne bus routes are run by private operators (the taxpayer-owned bus system was sold in the 1990s to a company that Ventura later gobbled) and are a licence to make money by the tens of millions.

    Ventura is steadily buying every bus operator in Melbourne and will likely have a total monopoly within a couple of years.

    Fortunately in New Zealand, the law clearly not only allows tendering of bus routes, it requires them to be put to tender.

    Just for the record, the (much more important in terms of ridership) trams and trains in Melbourne are operated by foreign-owned private companies but this operation is put out to tender every eight or 10 years. The previous operators of both trams and trains were replaced with new ones after the last tender round, and there is a clause in the contract allowing the government to resume state ownership at each tender round should it wish. Both Labor and Coalition governments have retained private operators. The trams and trains themselves, and their tracks and other infrastructure, remain in public ownership.

    • millsy 7.1

      For public transport to work, the bus/train/tram services themselves *must* be publicly owned and operated. That is the main thing that will fix the appalling state of public transport. Private operators can focus on niche areas such as charters, etc.

      I’m thinking about something like the MTA in New York.

  8. I think it’s symptomatic of some of the problems in our society that it’s considered news when a boss values and shares the rewards of their business with their staff. This was a generous example, don’t get me wrong, but to a lesser degree this is how ALL businesses should operate- as members of their community.

    • alex 8.1

      Good point Matthew, in a normal situation the staff would have faced job cuts and the possibility of a pay cut within a new organisation.

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