However, he said around 1,400 people will still be affected. Representatives of Navistar did not respond to a request to comment as of Monday afternoon.
Last week, Blizzard said approximately 100 workers who are represented by his union would still be able to work at the plant during the shutdown. However, he said for those that are temporarily out of work, some will have to apply for temporary unemployment, while others qualify for certain benefits with the company.
“We’ve had down weeks before. People who qualify will get supplemental pay,” he said.
Workers affected will go back to work when production resumes on those lines and the plant will still be operational and will not close down, Blizard said.
The strike that involves a little under 50,000 people at GM facilities across the country has entered its third week and has led to a shortage in parts for some companies that build GM vehicles. Navistar builds medium-duty GM trucks on its main line in Springfield as well as GM cutaway vans on its line two.
Navistar’s President and CEO Troy Clarke told investors, shortly after the GM strike started on Sept. 16, that the company would idle production of commercial trucks for GM. The decision stemmed from Navistar running out of engines and cabs for those trucks.
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Blizard said he was surprised how quickly the strike had affected production at Navistar’s Springfield plant. All the workers he represents are Navistar employees and are not participating in the strike called by the chapters of the UAW that represent GM workers.
“We hope to get things back up and running again. However, it is still up in the air when that will happen,” he said.
Blizard said workers at the Springfield plant have been instructed to check-in with Navistar on Thursday to see if they will be going back to work next week.