Navistar resumes production at Springfield plant

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

Production resumed on the main line for Navistar’s Springfield plant on Monday, a move that brought back hundreds of workers who were previously laid off.

At least 700 workers were called back to the Springfield plant as its main line —which builds medium-duty commercial trucks, including those for General Motors— went back on line, according to Chris Blizard, the president of UAW Local 402.

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His union represents assembly production workers at the plant as well as those in skilled trades. Blizard said approximately 700 of those members were called back to work. However, he did not have information regarding the total number of workers called back to the plant.

Production was temporarily suspended at the Springfield plant in March due to “disruptions in the supply chain,” according to a news release from Navistar in the beginning of April. The stoppage was originally expected to last until the end of April as the supply chain continued to be interrupted, the release added.

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However, it was extended into May, said Blizard, with the plant’s main line to resume first and its line two to resume later in the month.

Blizard said that he expects production to resume on line two, which builds cutaway vans for GM, on May 26.

Blizard said workers are required to wear face coverings that covers their nose and mouth as well as other types of personal protective equipment amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Those who enter the facility are also required to have their temperature taken. He added that the company is also implementing social distancing guidelines were possible.

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