President Joe Biden is scheduled to meet with the President of the United Auto Workers (UAW), Shawn Fain later this week. The meeting is to highlight and celebrate the decision of Stellantis NV (NYSE:STLA) to reopen an assembly plant in Illinois.
As reported by Reuters, Biden’s meeting with Fain is set for Thursday, marking the occasion of Stellantis’ decision to reactivate a previously closed assembly plant in Belvidere, Illinois.
President Biden was at the picket-line in October with the United Auto Workers in support of the union workers.
UAW went on strike last month as Ford, General Motors, and Stellantis failed to come to an agreement on a new deal.
The Chrysler-parent company has committed to a new $3.2 billion battery plant and a $1.5 billion investment in a mid-size truck factory in Illinois, aiming to add 5,000 total U.S. jobs by 2028.
Stellantis had shuttered the Belvidere assembly plant back in February and now plans to produce 80,000 to 100,000 mid-size trucks annually starting from 2027. The battery plant, set to open in 2028, will be a joint venture with an unnamed partner.
“There’s lots of winners in this. So No. 1, of course, are the UAW members,” said Art Wheaton, a labor professor at The Worker Institute at Cornell University. “It was way more than I expected and thought possible … It is a home run.”
In addition to the Illinois investments, Stellantis has plans to put $1.5 billion into Toledo Jeep operations, which includes the production of an EV Jeep Wrangler in 2028.
Stellantis also plans to invest $3.5 billion in three Michigan assembly plants, including $1.5 billion in a Detroit plant for updated Dodge Durango and Jeep Grand Cherokee models, with electric versions set to be launched in 2026 and 2027.
The event on Thursday is expected to be attended by Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker. Stellantis and the UAW have not yet commented on the event.
This meeting comes as part of President Biden’s ongoing support for the auto industry, which was highlighted in his historic visit to a UAW picket line earlier this year.
In September, Biden became the first sitting U.S. president to join a picket line during a major strike, showing solidarity with the UAW in their action against three major Detroit motor companies, including Stellantis.
“They have the best chance now that they’ve had an over 40 years to organize the transplants and, perhaps, the nonunion electrical vehicle companies,” said Marick Masters, a business professor at Wayne State University in Detroit. “But it’s still a steep, uphill battle.”
Produced in association with Benzinga
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