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U.S. autoworkers score record bonuses

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NEW YORK (CNNMoney) — About 150,000 U.S. autoworkers will take home an average bonus of $8,600 each thanks to another strong year for the industry.

GM said Tuesday that it will distribute a record profit sharing payment to its 52,000 U.S. factory workers. This year’s maximum payout for eligible workers is $12,000.

The bonuses “reward our members’ dedication and commitment to building some of the most popular and high-quality vehicles in the world,” said United Auto Workers union Vice President Cindy Estrada. “They deserve every penny.”

About 40,0000 workers at Fiat Chrysler will get an average payment of $5,000, a record there and up 25% from a year ago. Ford will pay an average of $9,000 to 56,000 workers. That’s the second highest bonus the company has ever paid.

The UAW reached four-year labor deals with all three of the automakers a year ago. Profit sharing payments tie worker pay more closely to the company’s success rather than just hours worked.

The union also got promises from the automakers to invest more in their U.S. plants and to build certain new products at certain plants. Those commitments are a form of job protections for workers.

As a result, GM said in January that it would invest $1 billion in its U.S. plants, a move that will add or protect about 7,000 U.S. jobs. Fiat Chrysler also announced a $1 billion investment in U.S. plants, which it said would create 2,000 jobs. Those investment guarantees were put in place more than a year before Donald Trump became president, however, his tweets have suggested the investment plans were a result of his efforts.

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