Stellantis to idle Belvidere Assembly plant as of Feb. 28

Published: Dec. 9, 2022 at 1:25 PM CST|Updated: Dec. 9, 2022 at 6:02 PM CST
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BELVIDERE, Ill. (WIFR) - UAW Union representatives say corporate members of the car manufacturing company Stellantis are notifying workers face-to-face in town hall meetings about term layoffs set for February 28, 2023.

This announcement comes after months of intermittent layoffs company-wide―resulting in workers taking jobs in other states and taking early retirement packages to find some sort of stability.

The union made a statement about the announcement Friday via social media:

23 News reached out to Stellantis for comment and received this statement:

“Our industry has been adversely affected by a multitude of factors like the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and the global microchip shortage, but the most impactful challenge is the increasing cost related to the electrification of the automotive market.

Stellantis has taken a number of actions to stabilize production and improve efficiency at its North American facilities to preserve affordability and customer satisfaction in terms of quality.

While it considers other avenues to optimize operations, Stellantis has made the decision to idle the Belvidere (Illinois) Assembly plant effective Feb. 28, 2023.

This difficult but necessary action will result in indefinite layoffs, which are expected to exceed six months and may constitute a job loss under the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) Act. As a result, WARN notices have been issued to both hourly and salaried employees. The company will make every effort to place indefinitely laid-off employees in open full-time positions as they become available.

The company also is working to identify other opportunities to repurpose the Belvidere facility and has no additional details to share at this time,” said Jodi Tinson, media relations for Stellantis.

Stellantis is one of the largest employers in Boone County. Thousands of workers will be affected by the halt in operations.

Local leaders are also weighing in on the news Friday and its effects on the community:

Senator Steve Stadelman, a sponsor of the Reimaging Electric Vehicle Act which includes state resources for Illinois automakers ready to make the switch to electric vehicle production released this statement:

Stellantis’ announcement is difficult news for the Rockford region, but discussions between the state and the company continue to find a future product and identify opportunities to repurpose the plant that for decades has been a source of good jobs and financial security for thousands of local families.