Sen. Brown questions Navistar layoffs, postal truck production in Springfield

U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, is urging Navistar to return full production of United States Postal Service trucks to its Springfield plant.

In a letter sent Monday to Navistar’s CEO Troy Clarke, Brown said he was writing to voice his concerns over recent layoffs at the Springfield plant as well as the company’s decision to move production of trucks meant for the U.S. Postal Service from Springfield to its plant in Escobedo, Mexico.

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Brown said his office was informed that as of last fall, those trucks were no longer being built in Springfield. He added that the postal service had emailed his office stating “that Navistar had a contract to produce tractor trucks for the USPS and that “only 590” of those tractors would be produced in Mexico to ensure the company could meet the Postal Service’s delivery deadline.”

“USPS also stated that the contract is for 1,579 tractors and that “the balance before and after will be satisfied as planned from the Ohio facility,” Brown said in the letter.

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He added that Navistar in response to an inquiry from his office had stated that the reason for the shift in production to Mexico was related to the General Motors strike, which caused a parts shortage at the Springfield Plant in September. Company officials stated that the strike had disrupted their supply chain, according to Brown’s letter.

“In discussions with employees at the Springfield plant, my office learned that the workers believe approximately half of the USPS tractor order has been assembled in Springfield; 30 percent has already been assembled in Mexico; and the remaining 20 percent is scheduled to be produced in Mexico.”

“This is different than the information I received from the USPS, and it suggests that Navistar could have returned production of the USPS trucks to Springfield after the GM strike but chose not to,” Brown added.

Navistar has not responded to a request for comment as of Monday afternoon.