CAW Critical of Allocation of Bonuses for GM Workers

February 14, 2011, 5:30 PM EST

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CAW President Ken Lewenza has called on General Motors to respect the sacrifices that have been made by all of its employees, hourly and salaried, as the company regains profitability.  He was responding to the company's announcement that it will pay annual bonuses to salaried workers in Canada.

"Our members should not be disregarded when the company is doing well," said Lewenza. "When GM was on the verge of bankruptcy, the company and government demanded various cost savings from our members as part of the company's restructuring.  Now that GM's outlook is improving, we expect that our members will share in the benefits from this recovery."

Non-union salaried employees at GM Canada will receive individual performance bonuses ranging from 4 to 16 percent of annual pay.  GM's U.S. workforce will also receive bonuses.

In Canada, the CAW has favoured negotiating base wage increases rather than one-time profit-sharing bonuses.  Nevertheless, Lewenza insisted, the company must find ways to ensure that GM's Canadian hourly workers share in the company's turnaround.  "Our members shared the sacrifices, and they must also share in the gains."

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