Photo from Stellantis Facebook page
After six weeks, the UAW strike is finally over.
Did anyone really notice or care how it all ended?
Well, Illinoisans should care, as it appears Illinois taxpayers were party to the contract negotiations to settle the strike for Stellantis.
Crains Chicago Business reported "UAW President Shawn Fain made "Saving Belvidere" a rallying cry in the negotiations with Stellantis."
“We fought like hell to bring product back to this plant.”
“Not only have we saved Belvidere," Mr. Fain said, "we’ve shown that these companies can reopen plants, if we unite and fight to force them to.”
Stellantis reportedly plans to spend nearly $5 billion to expand its Belvidere operations, that it shuttered earlier this year, for electric vehicle and battery manufacturing.
These investments were part of “Briefing materials provided by the UAW to its members as they prepare to vote on a new contract.” So, the opening was definitely part of the strike negotiation.
That’s all fine. If Stellantis wants to bet on the EV market, they can do so.
But there’s more to the story.
Crains also reported - "The state hasn’t yet said how much it’s offering in incentives to Stellantis, but the total is expected to be significantly higher than the $536 million package given to Gotion Hi-Tech to build a $2 billion battery-assembly facility in Manteno."
Now, do you get it? There would be NO deal between Stellantis and the union and no opening of this plant if the taxpayers weren’t providing massive subsidies to cover the cost.
The UAW contract includes 25 percent pay raises over the next four years.
Is the state promising the same to you?
Last year, Stellantis, a multi-national corporation headquartered in Amsterdam, made nearly $18 billion in profit. We shouldn’t be paying for their labor contracts.
Call your state legislator and tell them to stop these crony union and corporate handouts.
Call your Congressmen and US Senators too. Stellantis also counts on massive federal subsidies for EV manufacturers to pay for these contracts. There's no free market anymore if taxpayers are picking up the tab.
Meanwhile, Rivian - an American EV company - is probably really disappointed that all they got was a $50 million tax incentive from the state for its Normal, Illinois plant. If they are smart, they will be going back to the legislature to ask for more.
All these deals stink. And when they fail to meet production and employment goals, the companies should be prosecuted as a RICO action against taxpayers.
And while I'm on the topic, Gov. Pritzker announced he is spending $27 million more of your tax money to build charging stations for EVs. This is after announcing in June that it was spending over $12 million to put charging stations in restaurants, malls, and gas stations. I don't recall taxpayers paying for BP, Shell, or Amoco gas stations.
“If we want to reach our ambitious goal of putting 1 million electric vehicles on the road by 2030, then we must invest in charging infrastructure up and down the state,” said Governor JB Pritzker. “Thanks to my administration’s landmark Climate and Equitable Jobs Act, I’m proud to say that’s exactly what we’re doing. By dispersing $27 million for the purchase of brand-new, light-duty electric vehicle charging stations, we are making sure that every Illinoisan has the opportunity and the access to take part in the clean energy revolution.”
Currently, in Illinois, there are 85,870 registered electric vehicles. With six years to go, it is highly unlikely that Pritzker will reach one million EVs by 2030 in Illinois. The market is imploding, and there's a glut of expensive EVs, even with subsidies and manufacturers lowering prices. The consumer is rejecting EVs.
Does anyone know if Pritzker and his family drive EVs? How about his state cars? Hypocrites again.