Christmas bonuses totalling nearly $20,000 have been paid out to 200 workers at a Pittsfield, Maine shoe plant.

SAS Shoemakers has awarded its employees payouts of $1,000 for every year worked at the company - making up to $19,000 for those who joined the firm when it was set up in 1984.

A letter included with each cheque said the gifts were a longtime dream of the company and were in appreciation to employees for standing by the company during hard times.
SAS Pittsfield is a division of SAS Shoemakers in San Antonio.