Navistar says move to reduce Huntsville plant not union-based - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Navistar says move to reduce Huntsville plant not union-based

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Navistar will close one of its two Huntsville facilities in the summer, eliminating 280 jobs. Navistar will close one of its two Huntsville facilities in the summer, eliminating 280 jobs.

A spokesperson with automobile partmanufacturer Navistar says the United Auto Workers' Union had no involvement ina decision to consolidate a non-union Huntsville plant.

Navistarannounced Thursday the company is moving work from Huntsville to apro-union facility in Illinois.

Leaders with the Huntsville Chamber ofCommerce said Mayor Tommy Battle, Alabama Department of Commerce Director GregCanfield, and others flew up to Chicago to meet with Navistar officials lastfall and knew about possible problems.

City officials said they had no idea Navistarwould announce the closure of one of its two Huntsville facilities untilThursday, when the company sent out a release to the public.

Officials with the UAW regional office thathandles Navistar's Melrose Park IL facility were reached for comment but havenot replied.

A Navistar spokesperson released a statementMonday which reads:

 "Melroseis a UAW-represented plant. However, the company's decision was based onsignificant analysis that determined it would be more economical to consolidatemanufacturing in Melrose Park, where we produce engines, machine all of ourengine blocks, and also have a testing and validation center. We have statedpreviously that we have too much engine manufacturing capacity in North Americaand we must make some difficult decisions to improve our financial performanceand position the company for a return to profitability.

"Also, the total jobs added to Melrose Parkas a result of this consolidation will be 75 jobs. These positions will beoffered to recalled employees and temporary workers. [We] are waiting on thelatest Melrose employee count, but as of May we had nearly 900 employees, whichincludes both represented and non-represented employees as well as productdevelopment employees."

The decision to consolidate will eliminate280 Huntsville jobs when the move is completed in the summer.

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