The Australian mining magnate, Clive Palmer, gave 50 Mercedes-Benz B-Class 180s sedans to his most-valued employees as a Christmas bonus. He also gave all 750 of his long-time workers a holiday trip to Fiji. And just in case if that wasn’t enough to garner him a lifetime and beyond loyalty from his workers, Santa Clive topped it off with a $2 million all you can eat, drink and make merry party.
Mr. Palmer said he wanted to thank his staff for the $200 million in profit his company earned from a nickel refinery he recently purchased for about $10 million. His holiday largesse has earned him the nickname St. Nickel. The total package of the Christmas bonus is going to cost almost $10 million.
Palmer offers a hopeful counter-argument. By spending $10m on his staff for the holidays, he is giving up only 5% of his 2010 windfall–pocket change for one of Australia’s richest men. But the gesture sends a powerful message: that workers play a large role in creating wealth and that they should share in the spoils.
Mr Palmer said the generous Christmas bonuses were a recognition of the part staff played in the refinery’s rapid transition from profit drain to cash cow. There’s nothing worse than being a small cog in a big machine where no-one really appreciates you, he said. We want to make the workforce realise that they are all important to us, they have all performed very well.
Palmer while talking to The Australian justified the unusually high expense by saying These people have made a lot of money for me this year, and I thought I’d give some of it back.He further added that he had more money than he needed and giving some away is not going to hurt him or affect his lifestyle.