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Chrysler employees to get performance payments

by Bill Cawthon on

Chrysler employees will be finding a little something extra in their pay packets on February 11. Hourly employees will receive a $750 performance award payment while salaried employees will receive an unspecified amount.

Announcement of the payments came during the company’s presentation of its fourth-quarter results this morning. Some present for the webcast called the payments “profit-sharing,” but CEO Sergio Marchionne was quick to point out the company had a net loss during the fourth quarter. He joked that sharing losses might be how it’s done on Wall Street but it’s not that way at Chrysler.

The amount of the payments for hourly workers was not released during the conference call, but came later from company spokesman Mike Palese. The payout to Chrysler’s 29,600 hourly employees in the U.S. and Canada will total about $22 million.

Marchionne was unstinting in his praise for the employees whose efforts kept the promise of 16 new or upgraded vehicles by the end of 2010 and said Chrysler owed them recognition and a reward for those efforts.

Bill Cawthon grew up in the auto industry in the 1950s. His Dad worked for Chrysler and Bill spent a number of Saturdays down on the plant floor at Dodge Main in Hamtramck. Bill is also the U.S. market correspondent for, a British auto industry publication, and a member of the Texas Auto Writers Association, which has named the Jeep Grand Cherokee the “SUV of Texas” several times and named the Ram 1500 as the “Truck of Texas” two years running.

Bill has owned five Plymouths (including the only 1962 “Texan”), one Dodge and one Chrysler and is still trying to figure out how to justify a Wrangler. He also has owned at least one of every 1:87 scale model of a Chrysler product. You can reach him directly at (206) 888-7324 or by using the form.

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