Navistar, UAW reach tentative contract deal

By Dow Jones Newswires
Posted Oct. 18, 2010 at 8:47 a.m.

Commercial truck maker Navistar International Corp. and the United Auto Workers Union have reached a tentative agreement on a four-year contract, the company said.

No details of the deal reached late Saturday were released by the company or the union. The agreement is subject to a ratification vote by union members at six Navistar sites. A majority of the members voting on the tentative contract must approve it for the deal to become binding.

The UAW represents about 2,000 employees at Navistar plants and offices in Melrose Park, Springfield, Ohio, Atlanta, Dallas, York, Penn., and Fort Wayne, Ind.

The new contract would replace a three-year deal that expired Oct. 1. Union members made no moves toward striking and continued to report to work after the contract expired. Representatives for the company and the union have been conducting marathon negotiating sessions in recent weeks.

The company wanted relief from union work rules to give managers more flexibility in making job assignments. Union leaders were looking for commitments from Navistar to expand operations at union plants, especially the Springfield plant where medium-duty trucks are assembled. The plant has been severely under-used in recent years.

The Illinois-based company, meanwhile, has expanded truck and engine production at nonunion assembly plants in Texas, Alabama and Mexico.

The company idled truck production at Springfield last week and laid off about 60 percent of the plant’s work force. Navistar had diverted truck orders to plants in Texas and Mexico in case Springfield workers went on strike.

-By Bob Tita, Dow Jones Newswires

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