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.

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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.

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