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Job Cuts Announced At Belvidere Chrysler Plant

 The Jeep Cherokee, made in Fiat Chrysler's Belvidere plant
Victoria Lunacek
The Jeep Cherokee, made in Fiat Chrysler's Belvidere plant

The Northern Illinois University Center for Governmental Studies conducted research on the direct and indirect losses for the northern Illinois economy as a result of the announced third shift cutback. You can hear that interview Friday, March 8 and 6:50 and 8:50 on WNIJ's Friday Forum.

Fiat Chrysler announced Tuesday it will return its Belvidere assembly plant to a two shift operation, affecting 1,371 jobs. According to a release from the company, the decision is based on global demand.

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles notified the State of Illinois, the City of Belvidere, and the UAW that it will make the shift change beginning May 6, 2019.

According to the statement, the company will make every effort to place indefinitely laid off hourly employees in open full-time positions as they become available based on seniority.

The announcement comes as the company plans to expand operations in Detroit. According to the Associated Press, Fiat Chrysler on Tuesday announced a $4.5 billion investment plan it said would increase its workforce in Detroit and the surrounding suburbs by about 6,500 jobs to build all-new or next-generation SUVs.

Copyright 2021 WNIJ Northern Public Radio. To see more, visit WNIJ Northern Public Radio.

Jenna Dooley has spent her professional career in public radio. She is a graduate of Northern Illinois University and the Public Affairs Reporting Program at the University of Illinois - Springfield. She returned to Northern Public Radio in DeKalb after several years hosting Morning Edition at WUIS-FM in Springfield. She is a former "Newsfinder of the Year" fromthe Illinois Associated Press andrecipient of NIU's Donald R. Grubb Journalism Alumni Award. She is an active member of the Illinois News Broadcasters Association and an adjunct instructor at NIU.