Statement of UAW on Idling of Stellantis Belvidere Plant on February 28
Last December, Stellantis NV announced its decision to idle the Belvidere Assembly Plant in Illinois on February 28, 2023, by refusing to put a new product into the award-winning plant.
“UAW Local 1268 members at Belvidere have proudly built vehicles for Chrysler, then FCA and now Stellantis since 1965. They have delivered quality and productivity for the corporation for generations,” says UAW President Ray Curry. “Stellantis’ ill-advised decision will have negative repercussions throughout the region and supplier network. It will disrupt lives, uproot families, and leave communities struggling to find economic drivers to pay for schools, roads and other services.”
“It is notable that while Stellantis abandons this community after being part of it for almost sixty years, the corporation has benefitted from numerous and generous subsidies, federal loans, grants and tax abatements – all paid for by U.S. taxpayers,” adds UAW Region 4 Director Brandon Campbell. “The cruelty of its decision was heightened last week when the company disclosed that CEO Carlos Tavares received a staggering compensation package of $24.8 million for 2022, despite the company’s shareholders questioning the excessive compensation given to Tavares in 2021. All of this done by a global company which looks to the U.S. market for 48% of its revenue.”
Stellantis’ decision to idle the Belvidere Assembly Plant will not stand.
“We have immediately addressed the concerns of the 2300 affected employees by negotiating with the company on retirement packages, voluntary termination, as well as pre-retirement leaves to allow employees to grow into their retirement. We are also working with interested members on the relocation process,” notes UAW Vice President and Director of the National Stellantis Department Rich Boyer. “While the power of collective bargaining softens the blow for UAW Local 1268 members who work for Stellantis, we know that the options are much more limited for the supplier network which includes UAW members as well as the community at large. This economic dislocation is a choice made by Stellantis to reap even higher profits. We will highlight their corporate greed to workers, community, taxpayers, and consumers.”
The UAW will continue to demand that Stellantis put a product in the Belvidere Assembly Plant. This pattern of starving facilities of a product creates uncertainty for UAW members and raises questions about Stellantis’ commitment to the U.S.
UAW workers deserve better. U.S. taxpayers who subsidize Stellantis deserve better. And U.S. consumers deserve better.