Instead of receiving typical end-of-year frozen turkeys, the 200 employees of the SAS Shoemakers plant here were handed envelopes when they were called together Friday afternoon.
When Lawrence Wyman opened his, he found a check for $19,000. His wife, Charlene, got a check for the same amount.
The company this year awarded its employees with bonuses of $1,000 for every year worked at the company. Even those who had worked less than a year got $500 each.
The bonuses were particularly uplifting given that most news in the manufacturing sector this year has been about plants closing and employees being laid off.
"They called us all together and said we would each get $1,000," Lawrence Wyman said. "Everyone started clapping and then they said it would be $1,000 for each year worked."
"We were all in shock, then the tears started flowing," employee Lori Reynolds told CBS News Correspondent Jim Acosta.
Some estimated that the bonuses totaled $200,000 or more.
SAS Pittsfield is a division of SAS Shoemakers in San Antonio. The corporate offices were closed Friday afternoon and company officials could not be reached for comment.