Navistar said on a website devoted to labor negotiations that the UAW and company have agreed to work under the terms of their existing contract will negotiations continue. JEFF GUERINI/STAFF

Navistar, UAW to operate under existing contract during negotiations

The existing agreements were scheduled to expire at 12:01 a.m. on Oct., 1, according to a Navistar website set up to provide updates on the negotiations. Both parties have agreed to the extension to allow “for additional discussions on key issues,” according to information from the site.

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Members of the UAW Local 402, which represents the majority of workers at Navistar’s Springfield plant, did not return a call seeking comment Monday. The union represents the majority of Navistar’s local workforce.

“While the challenges are considerable, we remain optimistic that agreements can be reached in the short term that help us work as a team to competitively build our vehicles, run our plants, control our costs and win in the market,” the company said in a statement on its website.

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The company is a significant employer locally, with about 1,800 workers in the facility. Thousands of the company’s retirees also live in the area.

The company has invested approximately $70 million in new equipment in Springfield over the past several years to revamp the interior of the facility and streamline its manufacturing processes, company officials recently told the News-Sun. Navistar is also expected to launch a new medium-duty Silverado truck later this year that is being built by workers in Springfield. The firm is continuing to hire workers for that project.

READ MORE: GM unveils new Silverado to be built in Springfield

Last month, Navistar reported net income of $170 million for the third quarter this year, compared to $37 million during the same period in 2017. The Illinois-based company also raised its revenue projections for the year to between $10.1 billion and $10.4 billion. Earlier projections were from $9.75 billion to $10.25 billion.

The News-Sun reported earlier this year the industry is seeing near-record demand for heavy trucks, boosting revenue both for manufacturers like Navistar and their suppliers. Rising freight rates mean trucking firms are likely seeing solid profits, boosting confidence and encouraging fleets to replace their aging trucks.

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