GM restores merit pay for some executives

Dec. 30, 2009 at 2:46 PM
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DETROIT, Dec. 30 (UPI) -- General Motors Co. said it would reinstate merit pay for salaried employees except for top executives whose salary is set by the U.S. Treasury Department.

"The good news is the company is now stable enough and back to normal enough that we can do this," company spokesman Tom Wilkinson said.

GM filed for bankruptcy early this summer and emerged with about $50 billion in federal funds to help it redefine itself as a smaller, leaner company. With the status of having received extraordinary help from the government, the Treasury's paymaster, Kenneth Feinberg, has say over pay for the top 100 GM executives.

Feinberg has ruled that GM limit cash payments to its top 25 executives at $500,000. The next 75 top executives can receive 50 percent of their pay in cash, the Treasury's paymaster said, The Detroit News reported Wednesday.

In September, GM restored pay cuts to salaried workers it imposed in May.

Pay cuts and the lack of merit pay, however, run the risk of "brain drain and losing institutional knowledge," said auto industry analyst Joe Phillippi of AutoTrends Consulting Inc.

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