ROCHESTER, N.Y., April 7 (UPI) -- Struggling film and camera giant Eastman Kodak Co. has asked a bankruptcy court to allow it to award $13.5 million in bonus pay to 119 company managers.
Most of the bonus pay – with an average of $71,400 per manager -- is meant to keep experienced staff from bolting, Kodak explained in a motion filed in court, the Rochester, N.Y., Chronicle and Democrat reported Saturday.
Kodak described "a substantial increase in voluntary employee turnover beginning in the first quarter of 2012 as rumors surfaced about a potential chapter 11 filing as well as in response to the filing on Jan. 19. This increase has been particularly damaging for critical positions as the non-insider manager level."
Kodak also said the pay for these managers has traditionally included bonus pay, so not giving bonuses out amounts to "a significant pay cut."
The company asked that $8.5 million of the $13 million be allowed to go to mid-level managers, and that none would go to top tier executives. The $5 million left over would go to various other employees "as need be," the newspaper said.
Kodak also said, "Many more of (the company's) approximately 7,600 non-insider employees have unique and valuable skills that are important to the successful operation of the debtor's business. However, due to limited funds ... the debtors are forced to select only a limited number of employees as participants" in the bonus plan.
Kodak filed for bankruptcy protection Jan. 19. A hearing on the bonus pay plan was scheduled for April 18.