Judge Allows Bankrupt Peabody to Pay Up to $3.4 Million in Bonuses to White-Collar Employees

first_imgJudge Allows Bankrupt Peabody to Pay Up to $3.4 Million in Bonuses to White-Collar Employees FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Jacob Barker for the St. Louis Post Dispatch:Peabody Energy won approval for a bonus plan for nonexecutives that it says will help retain “mission critical” employees.In a hearing Wednesday in bankruptcy court in St. Louis, Judge Barry Schermer ruled in favor of Peabody, saying the company’s plan “targets those that are in a position to help guide this reorganization.”Peabody this month asked for the authority to pay out as much as $3.24 million in bonuses to keep workers in its finance, legal, sales, marketing, information technology and human resources departments from jumping ship as the company moves through bankruptcy. The majority of the 42 people targeted with retention bonuses are in Peabody’s St. Louis headquarters, a spokesman said.The largest coal company in the country filed for Chapter 11 in April due to a high debt load and a sharp drop in coal demand in the face of low natural gas prices and tightening environmental regulations.“The kind of people we are seeking to provide awards to under this program are mobile” and can take their skill sets to industries outside of coal mining, Peabody attorney Heather Lennox told the judge.Objections to the program came from United Mine Workers of America pension and health care funds, which argued the payments could come at the expense of money apportioned for retiree benefits. Peabody already reduced payments to one of the retiree health funds by $70 million in a deal struck prior to its bankruptcy.“Slashing the health benefits of aged and medically vulnerable retirees with extremely limited resources, while lavishly rewarding white-collar employees, is neither fair nor reasonable,” the UMWA argued in court filings.Full article: Court OKs retention bonuses for mid-level workers at Peabody Energylast_img

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