GM, Chrysler salaried workers to get bonuses
DETROIT (AP) — Most of the 26,000 white-collar workers at General Motors Co. will get performance bonuses of 4 to 16 percent of their base salaries this year, but payments to a small number could be 50 percent or more, the company confirmed late Thursday.
Chrysler Group LLC also will give bonuses to its white-collar staff, with payments expected on Friday. Both companies needed government bailouts in 2008 and 2009 to stay in business and make it through bankruptcy protection.
GM said in a statement that the bonuses would be based on each employee's performance as well as the company's. The statement did not say how much on average each worker would get. Messages were left by The Associated Press for a company spokeswoman late Thursday.
Chrysler spokesman Gualberto Ranieri would not comment on the matter. Bloomberg News reported Thursday that the bonuses would average $10,000 for the company's 10,755 salaried workers, but some who aren't covered by government pay restrictions could get up to half their salary.
"Details regarding salaried performance awards are considered confidential employment records," Ranieri said.
Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne has said the workers deserve bonuses even though the company lost money because of work they did in revamping or redesigning 16 models since the 2009 bankruptcy.
For both companies, the bonuses come less than two years after they needed government bailouts to survive through bankruptcy protection. GM received a $49.5 billion bailout, while Chrysler got $12.5 billion.
Both companies have performed far better financially than they did before bankruptcy. GM made $4.2 billion in the first three quarters of the year and is expected to post a fourth-quarter profit in the coming weeks. Chrysler lost $652 million last year but is predicting a net profit this year.
The bonus checks at both companies could draw the ire of the United Auto Workers union because they will be much larger for many white-collar workers than checks that are going to hourly employees.