Navistar to slash more jobs at Ontario truck plant

Tue Jan 6, 2009 5:38pm EST
 
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TORONTO (Reuters) - Navistar International Corp confirmed on Tuesday it will lay off as many as 199 workers at its Chatham, Ontario, truck plant, on top of the 499 recently announced layoffs set for February 2.

The company said it notified employees of the new layoffs at the International Truck and Engine Corp plant on Monday.

The new round of layoffs takes effect March 2.

"People aren't ordering new trucks because they don't have the wherewithal to do so, and until such time as we get orders, we will be at a very low level," said Roy Wiley, a spokesman for Navistar in Chicago.

Riley would not say how many workers would be left at the plant, but there were fewer than 1,000 working there in November when the first round of layoffs was announced

The plant, which was producing more than 100 trucks a day at the end of last year, must turn out a minimum of 35 a day according to an agreement reached between the company and the Canadian Auto Workers union.

The union and the company squared off in 2003 when Navistar said it was going to close the plant in Chatham, a city of about 100,000, 290 km (180 miles) west of Toronto, and move production to Mexico.

In the end, the CAW said it agreed to significant concessions to keep the plant in Ontario and the federal and provincial governments kicked in C$65 million ($55.1 million) in financial assistance.

A CAW spokesman was not immediately available for comment.

($1=$1.18 Canadian)

(Reporting by John McCrank; editing by Rob Wilson)