Judge to Rule on Hawker $5.3 Million Bonus Request

The IAM this week filed a position statement with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in New York detailing its objections to a highly controversial proposal by Hawker Beechcraft to pay eight senior executives more than $5.3 million to remain with the company while it undergoes bankruptcy restructuring.

Calling the proposed bonuses “unnecessary, unreasonable, excessive, discriminatory and not consistent with industry standards,” the IAM also cited U.S. law specifically designed “to limit a debtor’s (Hawker Beechcraft) ability to favor powerful insiders economically at estate expense during a chapter 11 case.”

The ugly practice of showering senior executives with billions in undeserved bonuses while workers choke on pink slips came to light in 2008, when executives at bailed-out banks and failing investment firms paid themselves more than $18 billion in bonuses.

Since 2008, Hawker Beechcraft laid off more than 4,500 employees, most of them in Wichita. Additional layoffs were announced this week for 170 workers in Little Rock, AK.

“The loss of a job is devastating under any circumstances,” said IAM Aerospace Coordinator Ron Eldridge. “It defies business sense and common sense to provide millions for senior executives while workers who provide essential services are told they are no longer needed.”