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Well, hubby dearest has worked for 2 of the big three now. He used to work for Chyrsler, now is at GM. He worked in the IS dept at both companies. (What follows applies to salaried workers - I'm not sure of the differences for hourlies)

At Chrysler, the 401K plan was pretty wide open. They had a decent selection (Merrill Lynch) of investment choices, including Chrysler stock. You could specify where you wanted the company's matching dollars to go - just like your own contributions. All bonuses we ever received were in cold hard cash.

At GM, the 401K is more restricted. We are required to put the first half of salary contributions, up to 6%, in GM stock. (ie if you make 50K and put away 6% of your salary, you have to have $1500 in GM stock. If you put away 10%, you still max out at $1500 that has to be in GM stock) All of the matching monies come in GM stock. This past year, they introduced a stock option plan for salaried employees (how many options you get depends on your grade/level) This is apparently in lieu of a cash profit-sharing type bonus.

I don't know if that's what you meant by "stock plan," Tom. But I can tell you that in the 401K plan, employees are both encouraged and forced to hold GM stock. Also, in the propaganda which accompanied the new stock option plan, it was made very clear that this was part of a company-wide effort to get employees focused on the bottom line. "When you make GM profitable, you profit!" and all that.

I'm not sure what I think of all this. On a personal level, it seems like a *lot* of our eggs are in one basket with the forced holding of GM stock. But from GM's standpoint, I think it makes sense to keep the employees looking to the bottom line.

(I know this doesn't touch exactly on the strike, as hubby isn't in the union. But they're at least doing as you suggest with the salaried folks.)

Hope that helps,

Laura

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