Capitol - Your Illinois News Radar » Belvidere UAW local sticking with Foster despite regional UAW’s endorsement of Dem opponent Rashid (Updated x2)
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Belvidere UAW local sticking with Foster despite regional UAW’s endorsement of Dem opponent Rashid (Updated x2)

Thursday, Feb 29, 2024 - Posted by Rich Miller

* Qasim Rashid is challenging incumbent US Rep. Bill Foster in the Democratic primary. And this UAW endorsement of his candidacy was unexpected, to say the least

Qasim Rashid’s campaign for US Congress in Illinois’ 11th District gains significant momentum as it announces its endorsement by the United Auto Workers (UAW) Union. The only candidate in IL-11 to receive the endorsement, UAW’s support of Rashid’s candidacy underscores his commitment to represent organized labor and champion the rights and well-being of working families in the Chicago suburbs and nationwide.

Rashid, a human rights lawyer raised in DuPage County, has dedicated his career to fighting for justice, equity, and opportunity for all. His platform seamlessly aligns with UAW’s steadfast commitment to economic, social, and climate justice.

“UAW is proud to endorse Qasim Rashid, a proven advocate for working people,” said John Gedney, UAW Illinois Legislative/Political Representative for Region 4. “Qasim is the only candidate in this race aligned with UAWs principles. He’s the only one who never accepted contributions from Ford or GM as they abused our workers for decades. He’s the only candidate who champions guaranteed universal healthcare, has experience protecting civil rights for all Americans, and advocates for a ceasefire in Israel and Palestine.

As one of the largest labor unions in the country, UAW’s endorsement of Rashid reflects his dedication to economic justice for all working families. He pledges to fight for debt-free college and trade schools, dismantle monopolies, combat price gouging, pass the PRO Act, advocate for a $17 federal minimum wage, and mandate paid sick and parental leave. His platform centers on holding billion-dollar companies accountable by advocating for campaign finance reform, penalizing companies that pay poverty wages, and curbing stock buybacks to prioritize investment in workers and infrastructure.

“I am grateful to UAW for recognizing my unwavering commitment to people and working families. For nearly 90 years, UAW has stood as a beacon of leadership and economic justice for tens of millions of working Americans, and I am honored to partner with them to build a future that continues to expand on worker’s rights,” said Rashid. “After the UAW won its contract negotiations with Ford, GM, and Stellantis, non-union automakers Hyundai, Toyota, and Honda all increased wages for their workers to keep up. I am excited to work with the UAW and other labor organizations to increase membership, improve pay and benefits, and build an economy that prioritizes working people.”

Rashid has made an issue out of Foster’s campaign contributions from automakers. Also, the UAW called for a ceasefire in Israel and Palestine back in December. Congressman Foster has not done so.

* Even so, the endorsement is baffling because Foster has been a big UAW supporter, even inviting Belvidere’s UAW Local 1268 President Matt Frantzen to this year’s State of the Union as his guest

“I’m honored to join Congressman Foster at this year’s State of the Union Address. After Stellantis idled the Assembly Plant last February, Bill was one of the first to call asking how he could help. From getting the White House involved to securing federal incentives, he played a vital role in ensuring the plant reopened and workers could return to Belvidere,” said Matt Frantzen.

* Frantzen and other local UAW members appeared in a Foster ad

* So, in a split with his region’s leadership, Frantzen told me his local will be endorsing Foster.

“Foster’s been here with us,” Frantzen said today. “He’s been here for us. He stepped up when we needed him. I see no reason to step away from him now.”

Frantzen also said he has “no idea why the region is making the decision they’ve made.”

[Thanks to Isabel for helping put this post together.]

…Adding… Rashid’s financial disclosure report indicates that he bought a BMW in November of last year, not long before the Belvidere plant was shuttered. Foster drives a Ford.

…Adding… And here it is…

Today, the Foster for Congress campaign announced that Congressman Bill Foster has been endorsed for reelection by Belvidere United Auto Workers Local 1268.

“Belvidere UAW Local 1268 is proud to endorse Bill Foster for reelection to Congress. Simply put, our plant would be closed and our jobs would be gone if not for Bill,” said Matt Frantzen, President of UAW Local 1268. “Last February, when Stellantis announced it was shuttering the Belvidere Assembly Plant, one of the very first phone calls we got was from Bill asking what he could do to help get the plant reopened. And Bill’s offer to help wasn’t just hollow words – he took action. He went to bat for us, getting the White House and President Biden involved and making it possible for the plant to reopen and for workers to return to Belvidere. The fact is, Bill Foster had our backs from day one. We’re proud to have his back so we can make sure he remains our representative in Congress.”


  1. - Frida's boss - Thursday, Feb 29, 24 @ 4:27 pm:

    The National only uses data points based on their scoring system and what their national leadership wants.
    The locals use member engagement, membership votes, and local understanding of local issues.
    Rashid may align with what the DC folks want but obviously Fosters time with his constituents and local union members has gotten him the respect and local support.
    Who would think that as a candidate running against a long-term incumbent, you will now be labeled as the DC elite’s chosen candidate who doesn’t listen to the real workers in the district and on the ground?

  2. - vern - Thursday, Feb 29, 24 @ 4:45 pm:

    “never accepted contributions from Ford or GM”

    Am I missing something, or is that a brand new litmus test? I don’t recall UAW ever demanding that people turn down checks from big 3 automakers.

  3. - Former Downstater - Thursday, Feb 29, 24 @ 5:01 pm:

    In my view, the resident’s of Foster’s district are growing tired of him. Rachel Ventura got within 20 point of him despite the fact he had nearly $3 million more in cash on hand.

    He caught a break in the general last time. His opponent was one of those people that claimed they have cat liter in Illinois schools for student who idenify as furries.

  4. - Rich Miller - Thursday, Feb 29, 24 @ 5:02 pm:

    ===Rachel Ventura got within 20 point of him ===

    New map since then.

  5. - ChrisB - Thursday, Feb 29, 24 @ 5:06 pm:

    ==I don’t recall UAW ever demanding that people turn down checks from big 3 automakers. ==

    Wouldn’t that litmus test disqualify their own UAW members, since their paychecks come from the Big 3?

  6. - JB13 - Thursday, Feb 29, 24 @ 6:22 pm:

    I’m old enough to remember: “Bin Laden is dead and GM is alive.” Big applause line.

    Now gotta go full socialist, or go home, eh?

  7. - Lincoln Lad - Thursday, Feb 29, 24 @ 9:59 pm:

    I live in the district and have known Bill Foster to be an honorable and caring representative. The initial contacts I received from Rashid I found to be manipulative and to contain misrepresentations, at least in my opinion. I blocked them, and my choice was made.

  8. - Dirty Red - Friday, Mar 1, 24 @ 9:09 am:

    So you’re telling me the same UAW local that provided a how-to on social media on filing fraudulent UI claims during the last retool cannot be trusted? Huh.

  9. - Former Downstater - Friday, Mar 1, 24 @ 10:01 am:

    ==Now gotta go full socialist, or go home, eh?==

    So securing a living wage for your members is socialism now?

  10. - Rich Miller - Friday, Mar 1, 24 @ 10:16 am:

    ===securing a living wage for your members is socialism now? ===

    No, but apparently it’s not enough to win the UAW regional endorsement.

  11. - DuPage - Friday, Mar 1, 24 @ 10:29 am:

    @- Dirty Red - Friday, Mar 1, 24 @ 9:09 am:

    ===So you’re telling me the same UAW local that provided a how-to on social media on filing fraudulent UI claims during the last retool cannot be trusted? Huh.===

    Do you have a link to that?

  12. - Dirty Red - Friday, Mar 1, 24 @ 1:52 pm:

    = link =

    Not anymore. It was a few yeas ago, and they removed it from the page once the UI office called.

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