BELVIDERE, Ill. (WTVO) — Leaders from across Illinois gave their thoughts on the tentative contract agreement reached between the United Auto Workers union and auto manufacturer Stellantis on Saturday.
“I’m excited by today’s UAW announcement of a labor deal that will reopen the Belvidere Assembly Plant to begin manufacturing a new truck product and expand operations to include a new battery plant,” said State Senator Steve Stadelman in a statement. “This is what I’ve been working with state and local leaders toward for two years — securing the plant’s future and saving the thousands of jobs that support families across Boone and Winnebago counties.”
The Belvidere Assembly Plant was idled in February due to a “multitude of factors like the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and the global microchip shortage, but the most impactful challenge is the increasing cost related to the electrification of the automotive market,” the auto manufacturer said.
“Today’s tentative agreement announcement is not only great for Stellantis workers across the country — a historic deal to help to bolster UAW members and their families — but it’s especially impactful for Belvidere,” said U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth in a statement.
“This tentative agreement shows the power of companies and labor coming together to empower workers and provide them a fair and living wage while ensuring modern businesses can still compete, grow profits and succeed. This reinforces what we all know: that the future of manufacturing doesn’t mean fewer workers, the future of manufacturing depends on the power of our workforce, and I’m so proud to join the brave UAW workers in celebrating this historic tentative agreement today.”
Governor JB Pritzker discussed plans for the soon-to-be-reopened Belvidere Assembly Plant in a statement on Saturday:
“I’ve been in constant contact with auto workers, Stellantis executives, UAW representatives, and the White House as the bargaining has unfolded, and I am delighted we are now on the verge of getting this done. I look forward to finalizing the state’s economic package and not only reopening the shuttered assembly plant in Belvidere to manufacture electric vehicles, but also co-locating a new battery production facility. This will be thousands of jobs, billions in investment, and a huge win for Illinois.”
In addition to reopening of the facility, the agreement between UAW and Stellantis also includes includes a 25 percent wage increase over the course of four years, with 11 percent coming in the first year. Cost of living increases could lift the pay to 33 percent, according to The Hill.