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It's not just executives seeing bonuses, for a change.

Bonus checks have already gone out or will soon be going to auto workers at Ford, GM, and Chrysler and machinists at Boeing, as their companies see profits rebound. GM workers are getting up to $7,000 in profit-sharing, while Chrysler workers got an average of $1,500 and Ford workers will average $2,450. These workers needed that good news, as many of them have gone years without hourly pay raises—the contracts the UAW and the auto makers ratified last fall included raises only for the lower-paid second-tier workers, with higher-paid, longer-term workers having to rely on various types of bonuses.

Local and state economies are also benefiting, as workers whose pay has been frozen for years are able to make purchases they'd been delaying:

The windfall might be enough to lift the economy of the Midwest, especially states such as Michigan, Ohio and Kentucky, which are home to union auto factories, economists say. States dependent on the auto industry have already been improving faster than the U.S. economy in general.
These bonuses add to the scoffing over Mitt Romney's various attempts to say he would have done a better job rescuing the auto industry than President Obama did, but it's also important not to let Republican governors like Ohio's John Kasich and Michigan's Rick Snyder claim that their public worker-attacking, education-cutting, corporate tax break-giving policies are responsible for this economic boost.

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