Belvidere Chrysler Workers React to Layoffs

Belvidere Chrysler Workers React to Layoffs




BELVIDERE – Many of the Chrysler workers we’ve talked to today say they feel as though they’ve been slapped in the face. It was just three weeks ago that UAW workers approved to take concessions in order to keep their company afloat. They now learn 992 workers will lose their jobs July 27th, making many feel their sacrifices aren’t worth it.

Second shift at the Chrysler Plant is what brought these two friends together. Both served nine years with the automaker and are now fighting to keep the uncertainty from tearing them apart.

"I thought i was set for the rest of my life, thought I wouldn’t have to go looking for another job," says Monica Berns.

"I have a high school education, I’m going to have to go back to college," says Ryan Hartwell.

Hartwell transferred from the plant in Kokomo, Indiana after being laid off there three years ago.

"It’s a lot tougher this time than last, ’cause last time I knew I was going to get money and the corporation was looking good. Now I’m thinking, ‘If I take the buyout, am I going to get the money? Am I going to see that?’" he says.

The buyout also looks tempting to Berns. She, too, is weighing all of her options. "I’d like to get some answers from Chrysler: ‘Is second shift going to come back? Should I hang on and hope I get called back?’ Questions I can’t seem to answer and no one seems to be answering for us," she says.

Drive down US-20 in Belvidere and you’ll see UAW’s sign asking us to support UAW-made products. However, some workers question how we could do that when they’re not being supported by the union they represent.

"It’s frustrating over there. Everything’s been like a big secret. Our union is not standing up for us like they should be," says Berns.

Many other workers feel the same way. A big group gathered outside the UAW hall to find out just who is included in the layoff. Most did not get their questions answered.

We’ve made numerous attempts to speak with the UAW Presiden and have not had any response. We’re getting a lot of information second hand. From what we’re hearing, those who will be affected started working after 1996.


Seniority Lists
Recent Posts!
Bargaining Committee

Mike Herron
Tim Stannard
Zone at Large – 1st
Danny Taylor
Zone at Large – 2nd
Mark Wilkerson
Joe McClure
Chad Poynor
Steve Roberts
Derek Lewis
Bill Cundiff
Kirk Zebbs
Don Numinen
Jay Minella
Danny Bragg
Chris Hill
Rashad Thomas
Keith Oswald
Chris Brown

1853 Officers

Tim Stannard
Mike Herron
Vice President
Darrell DeJean
Financial Secretary
Mark Wunderlin
Recording Secretary
Peggy Mullins
Trustee (3)
Jay Lowe
Dave Clements
Dave Spare
Sgt. at Arms
David C Spare
Ashley Holloway
E-Board at Large (2)
David Ryder
Steve Roberts
GM Unit Chair
Mike Herron
Leadec Unit Chair
Larry Poole
Ryder Unit Chair
Patrick Linck
AFV Unit Chair
Neil Osborne
Retiree Chair
Mike Martinez

Get Text Alerts


*Standard text messaging rates may apply from your carrier