Navistar halts production on GM lines in Springfield for second week

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

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Two production assembly lines at Navistar's Springfield plant are expected to shut down temporarily for a week beginning Monday because of a shortage of parts due to the nationwide GM strike, according to local union officials.

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

Two production assembly lines at Navistar’s Springfield plant will be down for a second week as a nationwide General Motors’ strike has caused a shortage of parts.

Navistar decided to temporarily shut down it’s main line and line two in Springfield, which builds vehicles for GM, last week. The decision came after several facilities that provide parts to Navistar for GM vehicles were impacted by a strike called by the United Auto Workers.

The move to shutdown the two production lines last week left approximately 1,400 workers temporarily out of work, said Chris Blizard, president of UAW Local 402. His union represents assembly production workers at Navistar’s Springfield plant.

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Blizard said though production will be down for another week, representatives of Navistar told him that they would bring some workers back to work in an off-production capacity. However, he said he was not given an official number.

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.

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