BELVIDERE, Ill. (WTVO) — The Belvidere Assembly Plant is expected to re-open after last week’s agreement between the United Auto Workers union and auto manufacturer Stellantis is ratified, bringing back over 1,000 jobs that had been lost when the plant was idled in February.
However, the deal also includes other plans besides bringing the Belvidere plant back, including creating a new battery plant near the existing facility, which could increase the total number of workers needed.
1,200 jobs were lost when the plant was idled, UAW President Shawn Fain said during the announcement of the Stellantis deal.
“From the strength of our strike, we are bringing back those jobs and more,” said Rich Boyer, UAW’s vice president.
UAW leaders also expect Stellantis to add far more jobs with the opening of a battery manufacturing facility adjacent to the existing plant.
“Stellantis is reopening the plant and the company will also be adding over 1,000 jobs at a new battery plant in Belvidere,” said Boyer.
The tentative agreement could bring over 2,200 jobs to Belvidere, with any worker displaced during the plant shutdown eligible to return to the facility.
“Under our contract, members from Belvidere who have been scattered across the country will have the right to return to Belvidere,” Boyer said.
If job estimates prove accurate, Stellantis would be one of the largest employers in the area. Only five other organizations in Rockford would employ more workers, according to a 2017 city analysis.