International's Chatham plant still under strike

To continue to meet customer demand, International Truck and Engine Corp. announced that it will resume production of premium conventional heavy trucks with a temporary workforce at its Chatham, Ontario assembly plant as soon as it possibly can. The company will also continue to draw upon production at its plant in Escobedo, Mexico. The Canadian Auto Workers (CAW) union Local 127 struck the Chatham plant June 1. The strike affects approximately 645 CAW-represented production and maintenance employees at the plant. International had held talks with CAW as recently as Tuesday, but no new talks have been scheduled. The company said it is still open to a dialogue with the union in order to return to productive negotiations, achieve a new labor contract and resume normal operations at Chatham with CAW members. "We had hoped to have an agreement by now, and have made every effort to do so, but we were not able to reach an agreement," said Steve Keate, president, truck group. "We would prefer to resume production with our regular Chatham employees, but we must continue to meet our customer commitments." Prior to the strike, production at Chatham had been averaging 39 trucks per day on one shift, and it is expected to ramp up to a level of 60 per day. The Escobedo plant will continue to increase production to 58 units per day.

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