Randy Harvard (right), an autoworker of 29 years, stands with other United Auto Employees members after the union called a strike Oct. 23, 2023 at Stellantis’ Ram 1500 plant in Sterling Heights, Mich.
Michael Wayland / CNBC
DETROIT — The United Auto Employees union said Chrysler-parent Stellantis plans to take a position $18.9 billion within the U.S. by April 2028, including $1.5 billion for brand new midsize pickup truck production at an idled factory in Belvidere, Illinois.
The investments are expected to be accomplished throughout the term of the 4½-year tentative agreement, which must still be ratified by the roughly 43,000 UAW members covered by the proposed contract at Stellantis.
Details of the tentative agreement were released Thursday night after local UAW leaders approved the pact, which UAW President Shawn Fain called the “most lucrative contract our union has won in many years.”
The tentative labor agreement was reached Saturday after roughly six weeks of targeted strikes by the union against Stellantis, General Motors and Ford Motor. The work stoppages began Sept. 15 after the perimeters failed to succeed in deals covering 146,000 UAW members with the automakers by a strike deadline.
“For the primary time in a protracted time, we have done the unthinkable: Reopened a plant,” Fain said during an internet broadcast Thursday, referring to the Belvidere factory, which was idled in February 2022. “We didn’t do it by begging the corporate or agreeing to work terrible hours, or take a pay cut, or pursue a race to the underside. We didn’t do it by giving back. We did it by fighting back.”
Heading into the talks, UAW Vice President Wealthy Boyer, who led the Stellantis talks, made product commitments a priority and stressed that the Belvidere plant was a make-or-break issue.
The main points announced Thursday include $8.1 billion in product commitments secured by union negotiators from Stellantis, the UAW said.
UAW Vice President Wealthy Boyer addresses union members during a “Solidarity Sunday” rally on Aug. 20, 2023 in Warren, Mich.
Michael Wayland / CNBC
Along with Belvidere, other planned investments include $1.5 billion each to a Dodge-Jeep plant in Detroit and Jeep complex in Ohio; $1.4 billion at a Ram plant in Sterling Heights, Michigan; and $600 million for Stellantis’ Warren Truck plant in suburban Detroit.
The union said the corporate also plans to take a position $3.2 billion in a latest joint-venture battery plant in Belvidere that is slated to open in 2028. The deal further lists previously announced battery investments of $6.2 billion for 2 joint-venture battery facilities in Kokomo, Indiana.
Fain said UAW members on the battery plant in Belvidere will probably be represented by the union through the corporate leasing the staff to the three way partnership. It’s unclear if the already announced plants will probably be under the identical terms. A UAW spokesman didn’t immediately comment following the announcement of the agreement details.
A Stellantis spokeswoman declined to comment on the union’s announcements.
The UAW said negotiators also secured a car-lease program for workers that mirrors that of company management. They said it includes discounted prices, unlimited miles, insurance and maintenance and repairs.
Just like the UAW’s tentative agreement with Ford, the deal includes significant pay increases, bonuses and other enhanced advantages for autoworkers similar to profit-sharing payments and a $5,000 ratification bonus.
The 25% raises include an 11% increase upon ratification, followed by a 3% bump-up the following three years after which a 5% increase in September 2027.
UAW members at Ford have already began voting on that tentative agreement: 82% of employees at Ford’s Michigan Assembly Plant voted in support of the pact this week. The suburban Detroit plant was among the many first to strike alongside other assembly plants with GM and Stellantis.
UAW members with Stellantis and GM are expected to vote on the deals over the following couple weeks. A straightforward majority is required to ratify the deals.