According to sources familiar with the discussions, the most recent contract proposal made by Stellantis to the United Auto Workers (UAW) union could result in the closure of 18 U.S. facilities. However, the proposal also includes potential new investments and the repurposing of an idled vehicle assembly plant in Illinois. The plans would impact thousands of UAW members and involve the downsizing of Stellantis’ North American presence.
The proposal also aims to establish a new “modernized” parts and distribution network, which has caused disagreement between company and union leaders. One aspect of the plan is the consolidation of 10 “Mopar” parts and distribution centers into larger “Amazon-like” distribution centers. The proposal suggests the creation of a potential “Mega Hub” at the Belvidere Assembly plant, which was indefinitely idled in February.
The proposal includes other manufacturing facilities such as the Tipton Transmission Plant in Indiana, the Trenton Engine Complex in Michigan, and an already idled tool and die facility. The automaker’s North American headquarters and technology center, along with a Detroit warehouse and office space, are also part of the offer. The inclusion of Stellantis’ North American headquarters comes as companies reassess their physical footprints in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The proposal by Stellantis is not a guarantee that the facilities will close, but the company is required to include potential closures or sales of any location where a UAW member works. Negotiations between Stellantis and the UAW reconvened on Monday morning.
The potential closure of the Belvidere Assembly plant in Illinois has been a crucial point of contention between Stellantis and the union. UAW leaders are concerned about employment, uprooting workers and families, pay, and automation if the plant were to reopen. There have also been discussions about using part of the facility for electric vehicle battery components.
Stellantis’ proposal to the UAW includes significant raises and the elimination of wage tiers for some workers, in addition to other bonuses and benefits. UAW Vice President Rich Boyer has expressed that the fate of the Belvidere plant is a deciding factor in the contract negotiations.
– CNBC: https://www.cnbc.com/2023/09/18/stellantis-proposal-to-uaw-could-result-in-closure-of-18-facilities.html