Ford’s Big Earnings Translate to Big Bonuses for Employees


Large companies are often derided for the enormous profits they take on the backs of workers, who may or may not make livable wages. However, a certain Michigan-based firm is making sure its success is shared with its nearly 50,000 employees.

After its phenomenal performance in 2013, Ford will be cutting bonus checks to about 47,000 of its employees, in total worth about $413 million. This equates to about $8,800 per worker once Ford mails the checks out in March, the Detroit News is reporting. That’s about $500 more per person than the bonus checks that were given out last year.

Ford raked in pretax profit of $8.8 billion in North America in 2013, spearheaded by strong performances from its F-Series pickups, Fusion midsize sedan, and Escape crossover. Ford is not alone in is big bonus handout, though, as “North American manufacturing operations approach peak efficiency,” the Detroit News reports. The publication said that based on automakers’ expected earnings for last year, industry observers are betting that more than $800 million in profit-sharing checks will be dispersed among 130,000 or so workers.

Ford Explorer

The white-collar employees are reportedly not a part of the United Auto Worker’s profit-sharing agreement with the companies, though it’s likely that they will also receive bonus payments in some capacity. The terms of the latest profit-sharing agreement, which was created in correspondence with contract negotiations between the Detroit automakers and the United Auto Workers about three years ago, “has acted as a pseudo-annual raise for longtime hourly workers, who haven’t received a yearly pay raise in a decade,” the Detroit News said.

Younger employees — and therefore less experienced, presumably — will see small wage increases based on tenure at their respective employer, under the agreement.

The Detroit News also noted that during the period of financial recession, when General Motors and Chrysler were being pulled from bankruptcy and Ford went into survival mode, employee bonuses all but disappeared. However, after numerous plant closures, thousands of layoffs, and other emergency measures, the automakers have swung back from the red and are now posting record numbers.