On January 14, 2019 PG&E announced Chapter 11 Bankruptcy in the face of over 30 billion dollars in liability costs from 2018 wildfires which killed over 100 people, wildfires caused by PG&E’s faulty equipment. PG&E says it filed Chapter 11 bankruptcy because it can’t afford to compensate victims for the wildfires.
This week PG&E asked the judge presiding over it’s bankruptcy for permission to payout 130 million in cash to employees, as annual bonuses. They plan to give their employees an additional 5 million in service awards and retention programs and 650,000 in cash and gift cards.
Many Are Losing Out
Thousands of fire victims remain homeless and struggle to find basic shelter during an unusually cold and wet winter. It’s expected that the fire costs will be passed on to ratepayers in the form of rate increases. Investors are losing tens of millions as PG&E stock plummets.
PG&E says employees rely on their annual bonuses and that they could not retain quality personnel if they didn’t offer incentives in the form of cash and gifts. A bonus is an award for exceptional service, not to be so commonplace that it’s taken for granted.