Biden celebrates a labor deal saving an Illinois auto plant as he promotes a worker-centered economy
BELVIDERE, Ill. (WIFR) - Governor JB Pritzker joined President Joe Biden, Acting U.S. Secretary of Labor Julie Su, United Auto Workers (UAW) President Shawn Fain and local leaders to celebrate the agreement between UAW and Stellantis. They came together to announce the reopening of the Belvidere assembly plant, which was placed on hold in February 2023.
Gov. Pritzker says a solution has been one of his main priorities, “For almost two years, we’ve been laser-focused on working toward a permanent solution to protect workers here in Belvidere — one that retains and grows good-paying jobs and supports economic development throughout the region.”
Pritzker shared his gratitude for President Biden, “On behalf of the people of Illinois, thank you President Biden lifting up the workers of Belvidere who are the bedrock foundation of this great state. Together, we are winning the global fight for manufacturing jobs of the future.”
The tentative agreement is the result of collaborations between auto workers, Stellantis executives, UAW representatives, and the White House throughout the 45-day union strike and good faith bargaining was supported by the Pritzker administration. Other efforts towards a permanent solution for Belvidere and support for economic development in Illinois include the passage of the Climate and Equitable Jobs Act and the Reimagining Energy and Vehicles Act.
The tentative agreement that was announced on Oct. 28 includes:
- The reopening and removal of “idle” status for the Belvidere auto plant
- A plan from Stellantis to build a new EV battery plant and support electric truck manufacturing at existing facilities with incentives from the state
- The employment of 3,000 auto workers with higher wages and expanded benefits
Lt. Gov. Juliana Stratton shared her excitement, “Today, United Auto Workers members celebrate their new union contract that gives them an opportunity to take better care of their families with access to higher wages and better benefits,” she continued, “We stand alongside President Biden in support of organized labor, the backbone of America. I thank the President for being here in support of Illinois workers and, together, we will keep working to make Illinois the best state to live, work, and raise a family.”
Copyright 2023 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.