ROCKFORD (WREX) — Two exit meetings were held on March 1 for union Stellantis employees who lost their jobs after the Belvidere Assembly plant. The meetings were to provide the employees with different next step options after leaving the plant.
"I still have older children here, my parents and grandparents”, Stellantis employee of 16 years, Dawn Morris said.
“I'm not planning on moving, I'm just going to wait it out. “I feel like in a couple years, there will be something here…we have to apply for one job a day since we have no end date... which is new to us."
Each employee has three options, to stay with the company and transfer, retire if eligible or elect in a voluntary termination and receive a buyout pay according to seniority with the company.
If an employee chooses to leave the company and accept the buyout payment, the payment ranges from $15,000 if the employee worked at the company for less than a year, all the way to $72,000 for someone who worked for the company for 25 years or more.
“Each of the companies that have taken us over has used us, milked the money, and walked away…we knew this was coming,” employee of 28 years, Steven Anderson said.
“In 2003, the buyouts were 75 to 125 hundred thousand dollars and a voucher to [buy] a truck, right now we're getting spit on.”
Also at the meeting, options from the Workforce Connection to help employees go back to further their education.
Stellantis is also offering six months of insurance benefits to employees from the last time they worked. In order to be eligible for the benefits package, the employee must have worked for Stellantis for at least one year.
Employees must apply to one job a day in order to receive unemployment benefits.
A decision must be made by employees of which offer to accept by April 26, 2023.