Coronavirus: Navistar to further extend its production stoppage in Springfield

Navistar International employees work on the assembly line putting an engine in a new truck in 2018. JEFF GUERINI/STAFF

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Navistar International employees work on the assembly line putting an engine in a new truck in 2018. JEFF GUERINI/STAFF

Navistar announced that it has pushed back restarting production at its Springfield plant to at least May 11.

The planned restart will only apply for Navistar’s main assembly line in Springfield that builds medium-duty commercial trucks including those for General Motors, according to local union officials. Production is expected to resume for the plant’s other assembly line on May 26. The latter makes cutaway vans for GM.

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The delay is due to a shortage in parts as the COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted the company’s supply chain.

The Springfield plant was originally slated to resume production on May 4. Some workers were brought back to the plant this week in preparation. Those workers will go back on temporary lay off on Friday, said Chris Blizard, the president of UAW Local 402.

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Blizard’s union represents assembly production workers at the Springfield plant as well as those in skilled trades. He said most of the workers there have been temporarily laid off since March. Navistar announced that month that it was temporarily stopping production in Springfield.