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GM's Hourly Workers Could Get Highest-Ever Bonuses

Wed, 02/09/2011 - 3:42am

DETROIT (AP) — Hourly workers at General Motors Co. could get $3,000 or more in profit-sharing this year, their biggest checks ever, according to a newspaper report Tuesday.

The Detroit company, just a year and a half out of bankruptcy protection, made $4.2 billion in the first three quarters of this year and is expected to post a fourth-quarter profit in the coming weeks.

GM is scheduled to tell the United Auto Workers union next week how much each of its 45,000 hourly workers will get, The Wall Street Journal reported, citing people familiar with the plan that it did not identify.

GM spokeswoman Kimberly Carpenter told The Associated Press on Tuesday that the profit sharing figure has not been finalized. Messages were left with a UAW spokeswoman.

Previously, the largest payment GM made was $1,775 in 1999 when the company made just over $6 billion during the pickup truck and sport utility vehicle boom.

The UAW will begin contract negotiations with GM, Ford Motor Co. and Chrysler Group LLC this summer, and the master contracts with all three companies expire in September. Union President Bob King has said the UAW will seek a share of the company's profits after giving concessions since 2005.

In January, Ford Motor Co. announced its U.S. hourly workers would get $5,000 profit-sharing checks, above what the company was required to pay under a formula in the UAW contract. Ford posted a $2.7 billion annual profit last year.

Chrysler paid its hourly workers $750 to recognize their work, even though the company lost $652 million in 2010.

GM needed a $49.5 billion federal bailout to survive its 2009 bankruptcy filing.

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