Record-high profit sharing checks for GM union workers

Posted at 5:46 PM, Feb 07, 2017
and last updated 2017-02-07 18:07:17-05

What would you do with an extra $12,000 in your pocket?

"I'm gonna, you know, put some away, pay some debt off, get myself in a better position, and then of course I'm gonna go out and have a little fun with it," explains Matt Bowen, who's worked at the Lansing Grand River plant for 17 years.

He's one of the about 3000 GM workers in Lansing who will be getting a $12,000 record profit sharing check.

"I've seen it go from a #350 bonus like the first year maybe that I worked here, to nothing for a long time," says Bowen.

Overall, the bonuses will bring in about $36 million to the Lansing economy, and if those auto workers spend it locally, MSU professor Charles Ballard says it will be great for the area.

"It won't radically change our economy," Ballard points out, "but it'll give it a boost, and the exact nature of the boost will depend upon what the individuals do with the money."

If workers celebrate by spending some of their bonuses, it could cause what Ballard describes as ripple effects.

That could be restaurants having to hire more workers, businesses seeing more revenue, and more money being injected into the local economy.

Bowen argues it's good news for more than just Lansing:

"It helps the Lansing community, obviously, you know, what we make here, we put back in here, so having us be here is just furthering the Lansing community, and Michigan for that matter."