For once, it’s good to work in the auto industry: Detroit automaker General Motors Co. announced today that it will pay up to $4,000 in profit-sharing bonuses to roughly 45,000 U.S. factory workers this year. The bonuses are twice as big as its previous largest profit-sharing payout, which came to $1,775 per worker in 1999. The announcement comes as the company prepares to negotiate a labor contract with the United Auto Workers, who are seeking a bigger slice of the industry's wealth. Union President Bob King has said he aims to retrieve some of the $7,000 to $30,000 in concessions each worker has given up since 2005 to help the automakers survive the U.S. market crash. While the company's year-end earnings have not yet been reported, GM took in $4.2 billion through September 2010, putting the company back on track for its first financial upswing since 2004.
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