The judge in A&P’s bankruptcy case has approved the retailer’s request to set aside $3.9 million to pay retention bonuses to certain employees who stay through the wind-down of the company’s stores, with the caveat that an additional $1.1 million be put aside to help pay severance to workers who will be let go.
That request was granted Monday at a hearing in White Plains, N.Y., according to local news reports. As reported previously, A&P reduced its initial request from $5 million in retention payments to $3.9 million following objections from union-represented workers left out of the plan. Judge Robert Drain approved the reduced request, but ordered the $1.1 million by which it was reduced go toward severance payments which will go toward union and non-union workers.
A&P, Montvale, N.J., has filed notice of potential layoffs of more than 20,000 workers. As part of the bankruptcy process, the company has received approval to pay just 52% of the severance that its collective bargaining agreements required.
In a separate filing, A&P has pushed back the deadline to field bids for its stores to later this week, and asked that the auction of stores that already have bids be delayed by a week to Oct. 1 and 2, citing, among other reasons, potential logistical complications arising from Pope Francis’ scheduled visit to New York later this month.
The original bid deadline was Sept. 11 and the auction was initially scheduled Sept. 24 to 25. A&P said it would announce successful bidders on Oct. 3. The deadline for parties to file objections to the successful bids will be delayed until Oct. 9, while the deadline for A&P's response to such objections has been pushed back from Oct. 6 to Oct. 15.
The final sale hearing was subsequently delayed to Oct. 16.
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