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Chrysler CEO Marchionne announces early bonuses

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Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne praised workers, saying "It took an incredible team effort to bring about such remarkable results, and you should be proud."

Last week, we reported an Associated Press estimate that predicted a $1,500 profit-sharing bonus for Chryslers hourly employees based on the automaker's earnings figures contractual obligations with workers.

Now an email from Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne to UAW members posted by the Detroit News suggests the bonuses will go out early.

While profit-sharing payments from all three Detroit automakers have traditionally been distributed in March, the Detroit News reports, eligible employees at Chrysler can expect theirs as soon as this Friday, February 10.

In the email, Marchionne struck a congratulatory note, urging employees to take pride in the company's achievements over the last year:

In 2011, we demonstrated that outstanding results can be achieved when we bring together clear objectives, strong motivation, and enormous passion. We continued the effort that has allowed us to reach significant milestones...The Profit Sharing Payment rewards employees based on the financial results of the Company. Therefore, it is my pleasure to recognize you with this Payment which reflects the collective achievement of our Company's performance and your personal contributions in 2011.

Marchionne specifically noted the unveiling of the new Dodge Dart---a "highly symbolic first vehicle featuring a Fiat and Chrysler architecture"--- and the company's ahead-of-schedule repayment of federal loans as high points for Chrysler in 2011, but encouraged employees to "continue to demonstrate the strength and courage you have shown," calling the year ahead "a challenge that calls for our continued, shared commitment."

-John Klein Wilson, Michigan Radio Newsroom

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