Detroit — General Motors Co. will pay about 44,000 eligible hourly United Auto Workers employees profit-sharing amounts of up to $8,000 this year.

The Detroit automaker, which made $6.7 billion last year, announced profit-sharing as part of its full-year 2019 earnings report released Wednesday. Profit-sharing is based on GM's pre-tax profits in North America, which totaled $8.2 billion last year. 

Hourly employees should see the checks this month, the automaker said.

A 40-day strike by the United Auto Workers union cost the automaker $3.6 billion last year, and is part of the reason profit-sharing checks are smaller than those of last January, when payouts before taxes were as much as $10,750. 

"UAW General Motors workers throughout the strike last fall said to the American public that they build quality vehicles that make excellent profits," UAW Vice President Terry Dittes said in a statement. "Much was made about the cost of the strike, but consider the fact that even with a 40-day strike, General Motors North American made a significant profit.”

"Through profit sharing on average UAW GM members will make $8,000 in profit sharing all through the collective bargaining process."

Ford Motor Co. said Tuesday it will pay 53,000 eligible hourly UAW employees profit-sharing of up to $6,600 before taxes.

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV will announce its profit-sharing amounts when it reports full-year earnings Thursday.

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