Window Maker Adds 84% to Annual Pay : Workers Cheer as Firm Awards 'Landmark' Bonuses

Associated Press

Employees at Andersen Corp. gasped and gave their boss a standing ovation when he announced that their profit-sharing bonuses would equal 84% of annual pay.

The manufacturer of windows and patio doors is distributing $105,894,734 to its 3,700 employees as their share of 1987 profits, up from $72 million last year and just $10 million a decade ago.

The figures amount to an average profit-sharing check of $28,620 for each employee in addition to an average salary of $34,071.

Many Andersen employees make the annual profit-sharing day into a big party. The streets of tiny downtown Bayport, along the St. Croix River in eastern Minnesota, are jammed with limousines rented by employees who plan to celebrate. Hundreds of the employees, factory workers and executives were dressed Saturday for a night on the town.

After the big announcement, Roxanne Krueger said she would buy a new furnace and air conditioning. Randy Cloutier said he wants to take his wife on a vacation to someplace warm, preferably Mexico. And Maurice DeMers is just going to pay his bills.

In Andersen's 50-acre factory, the company had cleared enough floor space for almost everyone to sit down as the company's top officers talked Saturday about the past year.

Sales in 1987 rose 22% to $964 million, said Andersen President H. C. Meissner.

Andersen Chairman Arvid Wellman noted that Andersen started profit sharing 74 years ago by distributing $1,428 among its workers. It took 40 years, he added, to achieve the first $1-million payout and 23 more years to top $10 million.

"This year, 10 years later, we reached another landmark, in that the total profit-sharing dollars to be paid in the year of 1987 increased tenfold again," Wellman said.

Then the chairman announced the total and was drowned out by waves of applause and toots on an air horn.

Cloutier praised Andersen for taking care of employees and listening to their ideas.

"It's always a fair factory," said Cloutier, a 15-year Andersen veteran. "That's why everybody gives 100%." Cloutier's wife, Laurie, who worked at Andersen for six years, added, "I'd say it's the American dream."

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