The company resumed production on its main line on Oct. 7 to focus on its international medium-duty commercial trucks but only operated for a week before shutting down again. That move has left about 1,400 assembly workers temporarily out of work, according to local union officials.
Navistar’s Truck Specialty Center has mainly been unaffected up to this point, as the mechanics there were working on trucks already built, said Chris Blizard, the president of UAW Local 402.
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But as the parts shortage continues due to the strike called against GM by the United Auto Workers union, it means new trucks that may need to be modified are not being built.
“If Navistar, if the assembly plant can’t run production and produce vehicles then we don’t get vehicles to work on,” Willis said.
“After the strike, once the assembly plant gets back to work, then we’ll be able to resume our normal production,” he added.
General Motors and the United Auto Workers reached a tentative contract deal last week that could end the strike called after contract negations between the two stalled last month. Autoworkers at General Motors plants around the country, including those that provide parts to Navistar, are voting on whether to accept the new contract.
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It is unclear how long the votes will take and if the new contract will be accepted thus ending the strike, Blizard said. He estimates that it will take some time after the strike for Navistar to be able to resume its normal production schedule in Springfield.
However, that depends on how long it will take GM to build up its parts inventory. Production lines for Navistar in Springfield are expected to be down next week as well, Blizard said.
The Springfield plant is still open and several dozen workers have not been affected by strike, according to local union officials.
The Springfield News-Sun has closely covered the impact of the GM strike on Clark and Champaign counties, as it has created a shortage in parts for GM vehicles and other brands. Past coverage includes a dip in production for Navistar’s Springfield plant that builds vehicles for GM on both of its production lines.
By the numbers
46K: UAW members on strike against GM
40: Number of workers that will be temporarily out of work at Navistar’s Truck Specialty Center
1,400: Number of Navistar assembly production workers in Springfield impacted by the strike