A bankruptcy judge has authorized up to $12 million dollars in bonuses for executives of the bankrupt coal mining company Alpha Natural Resources.
Approval of the bonuses comes over the objections of the Department of Justice and the United Mine Workers of America. Last week, in a strongly-worded filing with the bankruptcy court, the DOJ called the bonuses unjustified, in part because at the same time, Alpha is asking to cut retirement benefits for some former employees.
For its part, Alpha said the bonuses are a necessary incentive as it restructures.
The judge sided with the company. The actual bonus amount will depend on the company meeting certain benchmarks in 2016—$12 million is the maximum that could be paid out to 15 of Alpha’s top executives.
The judge also granted Alpha’s request to keep the names of the executives receiving bonuses confidential.