Tue March 20, 2012
Motion to Cut Kodak Retiree Health Benefits Put on Hold
Eastman Kodak went before a Manhattan bankruptcy judge this morning, asking to cut the health benefits of some 16,000 Medicare-eligible retirees.
That motion was not acted on.
Judge Allan Gropper essentially put the motion on hold, according to Democrat and Chronicle business reporter Matt Danemam.
"The notion of cutting these retiree benefits moves into second place," Daneman said.
Moving into first: the issue of forming an official retiree's committee, which we reported on earlier this morning.
Here's the bankruptcy judge's decision, according to Reuters:
Gropper did not rule on the retirees' request but said the matter should be decided before a ruling is made on cutting benefits. He asked the parties to set an April hearing to argue the matter further.
I reached the D & C's Daneman by phone after the hearing wrapped up. You can listen to our full conversation above.
Bottom line: It's a "qualified victory" for retirees, says Daneman. Kodak had wanted to cut the supplemental health benefits by May 1.
Still, the threat level for Kodak retirees "is not down by any means," Daneman says. "Their benefits are still very much in Kodak's cross hairs."