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    Chrysler factory workers to get $1,500 checks

    Daniel Acker/Bloomberg News
    Chrysler predicted that its US auto sales will increase by more than 1 million, to about 14 million, in 2012.

    DETROIT - Factory workers at Chrysler will get profit-sharing checks of about $1,500 next month as they share in the automaker’s turnaround.

    About 26,000 union-represented workers in the United States should get the payments under Chrysler’s contract with the United Auto Workers union that was signed last fall.

    Chrysler wouldn’t say how much the workers will get. The profit-sharing figure is based on an Associated Press analysis of company earnings, and the labor contract formula for profit-sharing.


    The checks are based on Chrysler’s $2 billion operating profit for 2011, reported Wednesday. Chrysler reported full-year net income of $183 million, its first since 1997.

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    The payments are another sign that Chrysler has recovered from its near-collapse in 2009, when it needed a $12.5 billion government bailout and a trip through bankruptcy protection to stay in business. Chrysler has since repaid its US and Canadian government loans by refinancing them, but the US government says it will lose about $1.3 billion on the bailout, which included Chrysler’s financial arm.

    Chrysler predicted an even better 2012 with total US sales projected to rise by more than 1 million to about 14 million. On Wednesday, the company said its January sales rose 44 percent compared with a year earlier.

    Ford will make profit-sharing payments of around $6,200 to its 41,600 US hourly employees in March. GM workers are expected to get more than the $4,000 they received last year.