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United Auto Workers members have resoundingly rejected a four-year contract with Fiat Chrysler. Workers at the plant in Belvidere were among the last in the nation to vote on the deal union leaders had worked out with the automaker: like most Fiat Chrysler plants nation-wide, they overwhelmingly vote "no."

65% of the Belvidere plant's 3000 UAW members voted against the proposal. It's considered a rebuke of their union leaders who supported the deal.

Susan Stephens / WNIJ

Votes this week will decide the fate of a four-year contract proposal for Fiat Chrysler employees nationwide. Today, union workers in Belvidere’s plant will cast their ballots.

Belvidere is one of the big Fiat Chrysler plants UAW leaders hope will approve the national contract the union hammered out with the automaker. So far this week, workers at a number of factories have rejected the deal. A truck plant in Warren, Michigan approved it.

Guy Stephens / WNIJ

Local governments work with a wide array of agencies and partnerships for projects within their jurisdictions.  Another organization aims to cross local boundaries for the good of all.

Motorola Moving Schaumburg Headquarters ... But Not Far

Sep 15, 2015

Motorola Solutions is now the latest company to move its headquarters from the suburbs to downtown Chicago. The communications company will leave some employees back in Schaumburg - but by next summer, its global headquarters and around 800 workers will call 500 West Monroe Street the home office. 


Dollar General Chooses Janesville For Distribution Center

Sep 11, 2015
city of Janesville

Janesville is projected to get hundreds of warehouse jobs in the next several years.

According to a news release, Dollar General has negotiated an agreement with officials to open a new distribution center in the city.

A financing package still needs approval by the Janesville City Council.

Dollar General wants to employ over 550 full-time workers over the next few years.

The company selected Wisconsin after eyeing two other Midwest locations.

Jenna Dooley / WNIJ

Many northern Illinois drivers are kicking themselves today for not gassing up earlier this week. Gas prices throughout the Midwest have skyrocketed over the past two days. 

Carl Nelson/WNIJ

Gas prices continue to drop all around the state. In Rockford, the cost of a gallon of regular fell more than a nickel since last week, to $2.50.

The state average is $2.60 a gallon. That’s down about 3 and a half cents from last week and 95 cents cheaper than it was a year ago. Drivers are spending 30 cents less per gallon than they were just a month ago.

The biggest health system in the DeKalb area is joining Northwestern Medicine in Chicago. That’s if a plan wins approval by state regulators.

KishHealth System and Northwestern Memorial Health Care announced they’ve agreed to join together. Their boards issued a joint statement about the proposed merger Wednesday. This means Northwestern Medicine would expand to include a total of six hospitals and 90 locations in northern Illinois.

Flickr user 401(K) 2012 / "Money" (CC v. 2.0)

Minnesota will surpass Illinois, Michigan and South Dakota this week with the highest minimum wage in the Midwest.

The $9-per-hour wage taking effect Saturday is the second of a three-stage increase adopted last year. Next year, the wage will rise fifty cents and go up automatically with inflation in following years.

For now, this step gives The Gopher State the highest minimum wage of any state away from both coasts. The next closest wage in the region is South Dakota's $8.50 per hour, which is higher than Illinois's at $8.25.


The Illinois Department of Employment Security says May was the fifteenth month in a row that unemployment rates fell in every metro area in the state compared to a year ago.  Rates also fell in all of Illinois’s 102 counties. 

Department Director Jeff Mays noted that three metro areas in northeastern Illinois, including the Elgin area at 4.8 percent, Lake-Kenosha and Chicago-Naperville-Arlington Heights metro areas, had returned to pre-recession unemployment rates.