By Carolyn ThompsonBUFFALO, N.Y. -- Eastman Kodak Co. is seeking permission to pay about 300 executives and other employees a total of $13.5 million in bonuses to persuade them to stay with the company as it reorganizes under bankruptcy protection. The Rochester-based photography company said the targeted employees have knowledge and skills critical to help the business emerge from Chapter 11 and would be difficult to replace if they left to pursue other offers. They include 119 middle managers who would share $8.5 million of the sum.
"As a result, offers from (Kodak's) competitors or from companies in other industries seeking talented employees may seem particularly attractive," the motion said. Retirees, meantime, praised Kodak's motion to form a retirees committee after seeking formation of such a panel in a motion filed in March. The Eastman Kodak Retirees Association, known as EKRA, said it would submit the names of about 50 retirees to be considered for appointment by the U.S. trustee. "These decisions by Kodak give retirees a chance to directly interact with Kodak to try to find win/win solutions for the resolution of all of our health and survivor benefits," said EKRA Vice President Art Roberts.