Sixers, Devils owners scrap pay cuts plan

Los Angeles (AFP) –


The owners of the Philadelphia 76ers and New Jersey Devils on Tuesday scrapped a plan to impose pay cuts on workers because of the coronavirus pandemic following an outcry over the proposals.

With both the NBA and NHL facing an indefinite hiatus caused by the COVID-19 outbreak, the owners of the Sixers and Devils, Harris Blitzer Sports and Entertainment on Monday announced a 20% pay cut of salaried employees.

The ownership group said the move was a temporary measure designed to help keep some 1,500 hourly workers paid throughout the season.

The pay cut was to have started on April 15 and lasted through June 30.

The move drew wide criticism, while Sixers star Joel Embiid vowed to financially support team employees who suffered because of the coronavirus crisis.

On Tuesday, Sixers owner Josh Harris abruptly abandoned the proposals after taking soundings from staff and players.

"Our commitment has been to do our best to keep all of our employees working through this very difficult situation," Harris said.

"After listening to our staff and players, it's clear that was the wrong decision. We have reversed it and will be paying these employees their full salaries.

"This is an extraordinary time in our world -- unlike any most of us have ever lived through before -- and ordinary business decisions are not enough to meet the moment. To our staff and fans, I apologize for getting this wrong."