Christmas became merrier for more than 1,400 Alcoa Howmet Castings United Auto Workers members, and the good cheer should be extended to the whole community.
UAW Local 1243 members overwhelmingly approved a labor contract extension providing an immediate $1,200 signing bonus.
Alcoa Howmet workers gathered at 7:30 a.m. for the surprisingly quick vote, approving the agreement.
The contract extension through 2013 pays out the bonus money Dec. 19, creating quite a local economic stimulus right before Christmas.
Overall, community leaders are pleased that the second-largest employer in Muskegon County has enough confidence in future business to lock into such a long contract. Alcoa Howmet is an advanced manufacturer of internal turbine engine parts for the aerospace industry.