Ball Bearing Workers Get 5-Figure Bonuses

Employees of the Peer Bearing Co., which makes ball bearings outside Chicago, are getting a healthy year-end bonus, thanks to the family owners who sold the company to a Swedish firm.

Copyright © 2008 NPR. For personal, noncommercial use only. See Terms of Use. For other uses, prior permission required.

ANDREA SEABROOK, host:

GM is just one company among many cutting back these days. But now, we'll look at one firm that's giving its employees a little something extra. Make that 6.6 million little some things. It's the Peer Bearing Co. of Waukegan, Illinois, and it makes ball bearings.

This fall, the Spongen family sold the business to a Swedish firm, and now, year-end bonus is so big, they made some employees cry. The Spongens are dividing up $6.6 million among just 230 workers. That's sending many home with 5-figure bonuses, as big as $35,000.

The employees got their checks at a party. One employee says he watched co-workers burst into tears. Another looked at his check and thought the decimal point was in the wrong place. The company had $100 million in sales last year. That's a lot of ball bearings and now, a lot of happy ball bearing makers.

Copyright © 2008 NPR. All rights reserved. No quotes from the materials contained herein may be used in any media without attribution to NPR. This transcript is provided for personal, noncommercial use only, pursuant to our Terms of Use. Any other use requires NPR's prior permission. Visit our permissions page for further information.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by a contractor for NPR, and accuracy and availability may vary. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Please be aware that the authoritative record of NPR's programming is the audio.

Comments

 

Please keep your community civil. All comments must follow the NPR.org Community rules and terms of use, and will be moderated prior to posting. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.