In this difficult economic climate, it's tough to know if you'll still have a job at the end of the year, let alone a generous Christmas bonus. But recently, the employees of Illinois-based ball bearings company Peer Bearing Co. got a big surprise when they opened their end-of-year-bonus envelopes: instead of their usual gifts of several hundred dollars, the staff members had each been given five-figure checks.
The company was founded by the Spungen family in 1941, and has stayed within the family ever since. They've come to think of their employees as part of the family, too--many of their staff members have provided decades of loyal service.
So when the business was purchased by a Swedish company earlier this year, the Spungens decided to use their payoff to show their staff how important they were to them, distributing $6.6 million in profits from the sale between their 230 employees. The bonuses were based on time served with the company, and some of the most loyal staff members went home with checks as high as $35,000.
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