Kodak bringing the bonus back
Posted at: 04/17/2013 4:33 PM
| Updated at: 04/17/2013 5:48 PM
By: Ray Levato | WHEC.com
It was something the Rochester community looked forward to every spring for decades, the Kodak bonus. Kodak has announced it is bringing the bonus back. It may not be as large as in years' past, but it should prove to be a shot in the arm for the local economy.
Thirty-five hundred local Kodak employees will share in the annual wage dividend. Using the example of a worker who earned $50,000 in 2012, the 5.5% bonus would come to $2,750 for that person.
News10NBC was at Kodak headquarters Wednesday and the big parking lot on State Street was only a third full. It's a far cry from the days when just about every family in Rochester had some connection to Kodak.
Mark Reichardt said, “My Dad worked there 44 years and he bled yellow.”
It's not hard to find Kodak families in Greece. News10NBC spoke with Mark Reichardt whose dad and in-laws worked at Kodak and his friend, Ken Bryan, who was laid off at Kodak in 2003. News10NBC also spoke with retirees Lynne Irwin and Diane Fagan. All like the fact that Kodak has brought back the bonuses, but they also are sad that the big yellow box is now the little yellow box, from 60,000 employees in the early 1980's to just 3,500 today.
Ken Byron said, “Back in its day, it was the place to be. I'm a third generation Kodak worker. Both my grandfathers worked there 35 plus years. My Dad worked there 30 years. I only made it to ten.”
Mark Reichardt said, “Since Kodak is coming back, I think that's fantastic. It's the heart and soul of Rochester. But I think Kodak needs to do more for people, as unfortunate as Ken himself, who lost their jobs.”
News10NBC's Ray Levato said, “What do you think of this bonus for those 3,500 families?
Byron said, “I think in this economy that will be very helpful.”
Lynne Irwin said, “That's great for the people who are still there as long as they can afford to give it with their other bankruptcy problems.”
Levato said, “What do you think about the bonuses for these 3,500 families?
Diane Fagan said, “I think it's great that they can get it. I really do and I miss the big Kodak but times change.”
Kodak CEO Antonio Perez says the company made significant progress last year toward its restructuring objectives in bankruptcy and he thanked employees for their tireless efforts to make that happen.
This employee bonus may soften some of the criticism of Kodak when it announced large retention bonuses for its top executives a year ago. That amounted to more than $13-million. Kodak says it doesn't have a dollar figure for this bonus.