Workers at Navistar's Truck Specialty Center Bargaining Unit recently ratified a four-year deal with the truck manufacturer.

UAW reaches deals with Navistar, Clark County engineer’s office

The United Auto Workers Local 402 has ratified a deal for more than 100 workers at Springfield’s Navistar facility, and reached an agreement with employees in the Clark County Engineer’s Office.

The two most recent agreements would mean all four of the UAW’s bargaining units are currently under contract, said Jason Barlow, president of the UAW Local 402. The units include Navistar’s Springfield production facility, Navistar’s Truck Specialty Center Bargaining Unit, the Clark County Engineer’s office and Akzo Nobel Paint in Springfield.

The UAW Local 402 represents more than 1,100 Navistar workers at its Springfield plant.

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Hourly workers in the county engineer’s office were scheduled to vote on ratify a proposed three-year contract Monday evening, and no further details were immediately available. That deal, which covers about 25 workers, included changes in overtime pay, clothing allowances and other benefits, as well as raises each year of the deal, Barlow said.

Members of Navistar’s Truck Specialty Center Bargaining Unit also recently ratified a four-year contract with Navistar, covering workers at the company’s Springfield facility, Barlow said. The unit represents 131 UAW mechanics who perform truck modifications and pre-delivery inspection service on two shifts.

“This year was kind of a perfect storm,” Barlow said of the recent contracts.

The union and company reached a deal in October just as the previous contract was set to expire. The new agreement includes wage increases each year of the contract, a new training program for workers, offers a $2,000 signing bonus and strengthens the 401K retirement program for workers, Barlow said. The contract also includes some changes in work rules sought by the company, he said.

“In all reality, this was not a concessionary agreement,” Barlow said.

Representatives from the truckmaker didn’t respond to a Springfield News-Sun request for comment.

Overall, Navistar employs more than 1,500 workers at its Springfield plant, and thousands of retirees also live in the area. The company recently struck a new deal with Volkswagen in which the German firm pledged to buy a roughly 17 percent stake in Navistar and invest as much as $256 million in the manufacturer.

Employment has been steadily growing locally after the truckmaker previously announced two separate deals to build GM vehicles in Springfield.

The company is having a non-production week this week, Barlow said, in part due to light demand in the heavy truck market. Navistar’s competitors have laid workers off, he said, while Navistar has instead decided to implement down time for workers.

“We’re one of the only heavy truck groups in the U.S. that doesn’t have people on long-term layoff,” Barlow said.

The union leader is optimistic work at the facility will increase and he said the company is preparing to begin production as part of the joint agreement with GM in January or early February.

“That will bring some additional job security to Springfield,” Barlow said.

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