Durbin Statement on Tentative UAW-Stellantis Deal to Restart Belvidere Auto Plant with Addition of A Battery Facility

CHICAGO – U.S. Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL) today released the following statement expressing his support for the tentative deal reached between the United Auto Workers (UAW) and Stellantis, which includes restarting the Belvidere Assembly Plant in Belvidere, Illinois, as well as adding a battery plant to the facility:

“From my very first meeting, and every one since, the President of UAW, Shawn Fain, made it clear that the future of Belvidere was a critical bargaining issue.  He kept his word.  Today’s announcement creates a path for every Belvidere worker to return and be part of a new EV launch.

“I spoke to Governor Pritzker this afternoon.  There is a need for federal infrastructure investment on the site and I pledged our delegation’s total cooperation in that effort.”

In February, Stellantis laid off 1,350 workers at the idled Belvidere Plant.  Durbin has continuously shown his support for the laid off or striking autoworkers, joining picket lines at General Motors in Bolingbrook, Illinois, and at the Ford Assembly Plant in Chicago.  Last month, Durbin took to the Senate floor to urge Stellantis to reconsider the closure of the Belvidere plant while reminding executives from the Big Three Automakers – General Motors, Ford, and Stellantis – that autoworkers deserve better wages as the companies collectively reaped more than $250 billion in profits between 2013 and 2022.

In July, Durbin also joined his colleagues in sending a letter to General Motors, Ford, and Stellantis calling for a good faith negotiation with striking autoworkers.  In the letter, Durbin reiterated that Stellantis should never have closed Belvidere Assembly Plant and urged Stellantis executives to swiftly reopen the plant.