• Ford Revives Job Rewards

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    BY BRENT SNAVELY
    FREE PRESS BUSINESS WRITER

    Thousands of Ford Motor Co.’s U.S. salaried employees have been notified that merit pay increases, tuition reimbursement and 401(k) contributions are slated to be offered again next year.

    Ford had cut the benefits as it careened through three years of losses that topped $30 billion between 2006 and 2008. But things have been turning up for Ford.

    The Dearborn automaker posted a $1.8-billion profit through September. And on Thursday, Mark Fields, Ford’s president of the Americas, sent an e-mail to employees saying Ford would:

    • Reinstate 401(k) matches starting Jan. 1.

    • Reinstate salaried tuition assistance for classes starting on or before March 1.

    • Reinstate merit pay increases.

    Ford spokeswoman Marcey Evans said those merit increases would be paid April 1.

    “Our One Ford transformation is not complete, but our plan is working,” Fields wrote.

    The majority of Ford’s 21,300 salaried employees in North America work in the United States, but the automaker does not provide numbers by country.

    Salaried workers share Ford’s victories

    After enjoying a string of victories over the past year, including a $1.8-billion profit through September, Ford Motor Co. made a move that would make founder Henry Ford proud.

    Ford Motor Co. told U.S. salaried employees Thursday that it would restore a variety of compensation perks, such as merit pay, tuition reimbursement and 401(k) matches.

    Company founder Henry Ford, who initiated the $5-a-day wage, said it was the duty of companies to share with their workers. “If an employer does not share prosperity with those who make him prosperous, then pretty soon there will be no prosperity to share,” he wrote in 1926.

    Next year, Ford’s company plans to deliver on that promise.

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