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Hawker Beechcraft: Worker Pensions v. Executive Bonuses

Tue. July 24, 2012

The U.S. Bankruptcy Court in New York is expected to rule this week on a jaw-dropping motion submitted by Hawker Beechcraft to pay top executives bonuses that could exceed $5.3 million. Meanwhile, no monies are being set aside for thousands of hourly workers at Hawker who could have their pensions frozen or terminated.

In a letter sent to all members of the U.S. House and Senate, IAM President Tom Buffenbarger detailed the extent of the proposed windfall for senior executives at the bankrupt plane maker.

“The bonuses for the CEO and seven top executives could exceed $5.3 million,” said Buffenbarger. “Additional bonuses to other management personnel could total $1.9 million while the General Counsel would be promoted and given an $80,000 raise.”

The IAM will file a formal objection to the executive bonus proposal prior to a hearing scheduled for July 26.

Buffenbarger also provided members of Congress with a blunt appraisal of the proposed sale of Hawker Beechcraft to Superior Aviation Beijing Co., Ltd (Superior), a Chinese company that is 40 percent owned by the Beijing municipal government. “Superior is attempting to buy Hawker Beechcraft while dumping the pensions of 17,000 Hawker employees on the Pension Benefit Guarantee Corporation (PBGC),” said Buffenbarger. “Essentially, Superior is attempting to fund its takeover of a U.S. company with critical dual-use aerospace technologies on the backs of Hawker employees and the American taxpayer.”

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