President Joe Biden put on a red United Auto Workers shirt on Thursday as he celebrated a labor deal that will reopen the Stellantis plant in Belvidere, Illinois, treating the factory’s salvation as a vindication of his decision to stand with striking union members as they demanded higher wages.
“American workers are ready to work harder than anyone else," Biden told cheering autoworkers in a community center in the northern Illinois city. "But they just need to be given a shot. A fair shot and a fair wage.”
The contracts, if approved by 146,000 union members in the coming weeks, would dramatically raise pay for autoworkers. They would get pay increases and cost-of-living adjustments that would translate into a 33% wage gain. Top assembly plant workers would earn roughly $42 per hour.
Here are some visuals that show recent trends in workforce earnings and consumer spending in Virginia.