United Auto Workers-represented employees at Navistar ratified a new four-year labor agreement, the company announced Oct. 30. Navistar said the labor agreement was approved by a majority of voting UAW members and replaces the prior contract that expired Oct. 1.
“The new contract is mutually beneficial,” says Dan Ustian, chairman, president and chief executive officer at Navistar. “It will improve the operating structure and flexibility at our UAW-represented facilities to better compete in today’s market.”
Some of the key competitive changes and other collaborative provisions in the new labor contract, according to Navistar, include:
• Increased truck and engine model flexibility to better utilize manufacturing capacity at all facilities;
• Investment in a new technology center on the company’s existing campus in Melrose Park, Ill., to perform test and validation work for current and developmental products;
• A significantly improved “new hire” package featuring a more competitive and predictable cost structure;
• Health care cost sharing by employees; and
• Flexibility in managing noncore activities.
The UAW represents about 2,000 employees at six Navistar facilities in Melrose Park (engine assembly and engine engineering); Springfield, Ohio (truck assembly); Atlanta, York (Pa.) and Dallas (parts distribution centers); and Fort Wayne, Ind. (truck engineering). Total worldwide employment at the company is 16,000.
Navistar plans to invest up to $90 million in the 80-acre Melrose Park campus over the next several years to create a state-of-the-art testing and validation center that celebrates the company’s heritage while developing leading-edge commercial truck and diesel engines.
The Melrose Park facility is intended to complement Navistar’s integrated product development center that will be located at the former Alcatel-Lucent East campus in Lisle. The company will retain or create nearly 3,000 permanent jobs between the two campuses over the next several years along with more than 600 construction jobs.