Northwest Details $77M Non-Union Bonus Plan

Northwest Airlines will give 4,000 non-union employees $77.4 million in cash and stock as part of a bonus program after the airline emerges from bankruptcy, an attorney for Northwest said Monday.

The employees, who took pay and benefit cuts as the company reorganized, would get 40 percent of the bonus as cash when the company emerges from court protection, lawyer Bruce Zirinsky said in court.

The remaining 60 percent would be issued as new common stock in the company one year later, as long as the employee is still with the company.

A hearing to confirm the company's reorganization plan is scheduled for May 16.

Another 400 executives at the company will participate in a separate management equity plan. No details were offered about that plan on Monday.

Zirinsky said the total amount of the payout was roughly calculated using a formula under which Northwest calculated claims that have been given to its labor unions.

He also announced that flight attendants and certain workers represented by the International Association of Machinists would receive a claim of an undisclosed amount, partially restoring pay and benefits that the company extracted earlier.

The IAM claim, estimated by the union to be worth $212 million today, will replace special Northwest shares issued as part of a 1993 deal when IAM workers made concessions in an effort to help the airline stay out of bankrutpcy.

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