Hourly workers at General Motors and Ford are reportedly getting large profit-sharing checks later this month, a gesture that hints at the direction of planned contract negotiations with the United Auto Workers Union.
The payouts could surpass $5,000 at Ford. The bonuses underscore the dramatic turnaround of the big three domestic car manufacturers during the Detroit Auto Show that began this week. They are also an indication that in order to continue growth, the companies will need to work out differences with its work force.
“That would be a great bonus, especially with the overtime pay that we’ve lost and the years that our wages were frozen,” said Bill Parker, a G.M. worker at the plant here that builds the Chevrolet Volt.
Regardless of the bonus, he still felt fortunate to have a job with GM after the company cut 40,000 union jobs during the past five years. “I’m happy to be here in this building,” he said.
Chrysler, which is taking more time to restock product lineups and restructure its finances, is still not making money and likely will not send out employee bonuses.
Bob King, president of UAW, suggested last year that autoworkers should share in company profits as the companies being to recover, because the workers had to give up thousands of dollars earlier to keep the automakers afloat.
“Equality of sacrifice, there’s got to be equality of gain,” King he said last year. “It’s our responsibility to make sure that in that turnaround, our members are treated fairly.”
While at the Detroit auto show this week, King confirmed his stance by saying it was important “that members feel they are being respected and that they are getting their fair share of the upside.”
The Big Three will be in talks this summer negotiating new contracts with the United Auto Workers union. While labor costs by Detroit’s Chrysler, Ford and GM is significantly more than foreign automakers, the upside is positive with the Big Three seeing a rise in sales and profits. The Center for Automotive Research in Ann Arbor, Michigan indicates since the U.S. automakers bailouts, labor costs have been reduced up to 20 percent, Ford’s average labor cost is $59 compared to $56 at Toyota.
Ford’s employee bonus amounts will depend on the individual and their departments performance levels. The exact amounts will not be released until after Ford reports fourth quarter earnings.What people are talking about.Story about gm and the big three profit sharing.