By DON McINTOSH
Six weeks after he became the first sitting president of the United States to walk a strike picket line, Joe Biden was back among the United Auto Workers (UAW) to celebrate their massive strike victory. Speaking Nov. 9 to a crowd of UAW members at a community center in Belvidere, Illinois, Biden donned a red UAW Local 1268 T-shirt.
“With this UAW contract, you’ll be treated fairly,” Biden said. “You’ll get a fair share of what you produce. And you’ll get the dignity and respect you deserve.”
Local 1268 represents workers at the Belvidere Stellantis (Chrysler) plant, which shut down in February. In one of the more remarkable wins in the contract that ended UAW’s a 46-day strike, Stellantis agreed to reopen the plant, rehire 1,200 workers, and invest $5 billion retooling it to produce a new midsize truck and build an adjacent electric vehicle battery plant that will employ an additional 1,300 workers.
Biden gave credit to union members who struck, but said he played in that too, and reached out directly to Stellantis Chief Operating Office Mark Stewart.
“I got on the phone and let them know personally I thought it was a priority.”