Court Denies Bonuses For Hawker Execs

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A request from Hawker Beechcraft to allot $5.3 million in bonuses to eight executives was denied by a federal bankruptcy court on Friday, The Associated Press reported. Judge Stuart Bernstein said the proposed plan would reward the executives just for doing their jobs. The bonus request had been opposed by both the machinists union at Hawker and a watchdog agency for the U.S. Justice Department. "Aside from its legal problems, the bonus plan never made common sense -- why should a company in financial distress pay millions to its executives for work they are already paid to do?" said Frank Larkin, spokesman for the machinists union. "We welcome the decision."

Bernstein said the "Key Employee Incentive Plan" didn't specify any goals the executives would have to meet to earn the bonus, other than simply staying at their jobs. A Hawker spokesman told the AP the plan was meant to recognize the "critical role" of the leadership team in managing the company's restructuring process. The company plans to amend the bonus request so it will conform to guidance in the court's opinion. An earlier request for $1.9 million in bonuses for 31 senior Hawker Beechcraft employees was OK'd by the court last month, despite objections from the machinists union.