Ford to pay bonuses, raises for salaried workers

Thu Jan 19, 2012 12:25pm EST

Ford Flex vehicles are lined up for sale at a Ford dealership in Tustin, California January 4, 2012.  REUTERS/Mike Blake

Ford Flex vehicles are lined up for sale at a Ford dealership in Tustin, California January 4, 2012.

Credit: Reuters/Mike Blake

(Reuters) - Ford Motor Co (F.N) will give bonuses and merit-based raises to salaried workers in the United States and Canada this spring, the first time the No. 2 U.S. automaker has paid out both since the onset of the financial crisis.

The company will offer an average 2.7 percent salary increase that is based largely on individual performance, Ford spokeswoman Marcey Evans said.

The raises will be effective April 1 and bonuses will paid in March, Evans added.

Mark Fields, who runs Ford's operations in North and South America, sent a note last week to 20,000 salaried employees in the United States and Canada confirming that both bonuses and merit pay increases will be offered.

Ford last offered both in 2008, when the U.S. automaker was in the early stages of its turnaround plan "One Ford" under Chief Executive Alan Mulally.

Then in the fall of 2008, investment Lehman Brothers filed for bankruptcy, sending global markets into a tailspin and pushing Ford's crosstown rivals General Motors Co (GM.N) and Chrysler Group LLC FIA.MI to the brink of collapse.

Ford, the only U.S. automaker not to take a federal bailout, paid neither bonuses nor pay increases in 2009.

In 2010, Ford offered only merit-based pay increases to salaried workers. Last year, salaried employees received a only a bonus.

(Reporting by Deepa Seetharaman in Detroit. Editing by Gunna Dickson)