The United Auto Workers (UAW) reached a tentative labour deal with Chrysler-owner Stellantis on Saturday, but the union announced it will expand its strike to a new General Motors plant in Spring Hill, Tenn., UAW said.
“We are disappointed by GM’s unnecessary and irresponsible refusal to come to a fair agreement,” UAW President Shawn Fain said in a statement to Reuters.
The deal with Stellantis secures record wages and benefits for Stellantis workers and follows a template set just days ago by UAW and Ford, including a 25 per cent wage hike over the 4.5-year contract.
The Stellantis deal includes an agreement to reopen the car maker’s assembly plant in Belvidere, Ill., which will now build midsize trucks, Fain said in a video post on social media. The trucks could compete against Ford’s Ranger and GM’s Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon models.
Stellantis’ Belvidere factory was shuttered earlier this year leaving 1,300 workers without jobs. The factory, which became a rallying cry for the union’s bargaining campaign, will reopen contingent on expected state and local tax incentives, sources familiar with the situation said.
We have a tentative agreement at Stellantis. <a href=”https://twitter.com/hashtag/StandUpUAW?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>#StandUpUAW</a> <a href=”https://t.co/NsVL6w77WN”>pic.twitter.com/NsVL6w77WN</a>
In addition, Stellantis agreed to build a battery plant next to the existing Belvidere plant, UAW Vice President Rich Boyer said in the video address.
Stellantis will also keep open an engine manufacturing complex in Trenton, Michigan, and a machining operation in Toledo, Ohio, Boyer said.
In all, the automaker has committed to $19 billion US in new investments in U.S. operations and the creation of 5,000 additional jobs where previously it planned to cut 5,000 jobs, Fain and Boyer said.
“We turned it all the way around,” Fain said.