By MATT BLOIS
Employees at the General Motors plant in Spring Hill will get a nearly $12,000 bonus check later this month.
Tim Stannard, president of the United Auto Workers Local 1853, said that the bonus is part of a profit sharing agreement with GM in the union’s contract. For every $1 billion dollars in profit, employees that have worked at least 1,850 hours in the year get $1000.
Workers that have worked less than 1,850 hours this year will get a proportionally smaller payout, but Stannard said most people at the GM plant in Spring Hill have been there for more than a year. New employees at the plant start out at $17 per hour and after eight years they can earn up to $28 per hour.
“It’ll probably stimulate the economy,” he said. “If they need new tires or something like that they’re going to go out and get them.”
GM has reported record high profits for the last three years. The maximum payout is $12,000 and later this month those workers will get a check for $11,750.
Stannard said most employees carefully track the company’s quarterly profit reports to keep tabs on how it’s doing; and their work is often difficult. He said they work long shifts, six to seven days a week, partially because the plant is producing some vehicles that are selling very well.
Unfortunately, he said the car industry is usually cyclical. Three straight years of record profits likely means that the next couple of years won’t be so strong.
“We think we’ve kind of topped out. It could start dropping off a little bit,” he said. “We hope not.”