The Indiana announcement comes on the same day that Stellantis is indefinitely idling a Jeep plant Tuesday in neighboring Illinois. Belvidere Assembly, which opened in 1965, has produced vehicles such as the Plymouth Fury, Dodge Neon and Jeep Compass. It has been making the Jeep Cherokee since 2017.
The UAW blasted the company Tuesday and said the decision “will not stand.”
“Stellantis’ ill-advised decision will have negative repercussions throughout the region and supplier network,” UAW President Ray Curry said in a statement. “It will disrupt lives, uproot families, and leave communities struggling to find economic drivers to pay for schools, roads and other services.”
UAW Local 1268 said Monday on Facebook that the union and Stellantis had reached an agreement to offer $50,000 retirement incentives to all eligible plant employees. Employees within two years of becoming retirement-eligible will be offered a “grow-in” to retirement.
Local 1268 also said an enhanced voluntary termination of employment program will be available.
“We have immediately addressed the concerns of the 2,300 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,” said UAW Vice President Rich Boyer, director of the union’s Stellantis department. “We are also working with interested members on the relocation process.”
The UAW, whose four-year contracts with each of the Detroit 3 expire in September, said it will continue to demand that Stellantis assign a product to the Belvidere plant, about 70 miles northwest of Chicago.
“This pattern of starving facilities of a product creates uncertainty for UAW members and raises questions about Stellantis’ commitment to the U.S.,” the union said.