WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) sent a letter this week to Dan Ustian, CEO of Navistar International Corporation, urging him to maintain operations at the company's plant in Springfield. In early August, nearly 400 workers received notice that layoffs may begin as early as October 4.
"The workers in Springfield are second to none in work ethic, dedication, and productivity," Brown wrote to Ustian. "As Navistar continues with its military and commercial sales and further progresses with the development of cutting edge technology, I urge you to consider the Ohio workforce that has played a critical role in the company's success."
Navistar International Corp. produces commercial trucks and diesel engines. The company recently made a commitment to expand operations in Illinois. Brown urged Navistar to make a similar commitment to the Springfield community. In his letter, Brown urged Navistar to continue working with local, state, and federal officials to keep employees working.
A full copy of the letter can be found below:
September 13, 2010
Chief Executive Officer
Navistar International Corporation
4201 Winfield Road
Warrenville, IL 60555
Dear Mr. Ustian:
Thank you for speaking with me today regarding Navistar's plans to suspend operations in Springfield, Ohio, as indicated by the Workers Adjustment Retraining Notification (WARN) notice given to employees in early August. I understand your reasoning for providing such notice, but urge you to seek alternatives to suspending operations at the Springfield facility.
The City of Springfield is a community that has been severely impacted by today's economic challenges. Such challenges are exceptionally difficult for communities that have relied heavily on the manufacturing and automotive industries. As Navistar continues with its military and commercial sales and further progresses with the development of cutting edge technology, I urge you to consider the Ohio workforce that has played a critical role in the company's success.
Navistar recently made a commitment to expand the company's operations in Illinois. In the spirit of providing jobs and economic security for American workers and their families, I ask Navistar to make a commitment to the Springfield community. The workers in Springfield are second to none in work ethic, dedication, and productivity.
The United Autoworkers are committed to maintaining high levels of productivity and efficiency at the plant and are willing to work with Navistar to establish additional opportunities for the Springfield facility. With this in mind, I strongly urge you to reconsider the decision to suspend operations in Springfield. Such a move would result in further layoffs for Ohio workers during a time that has presented our country with severe economic challenges.
Navistar is a valued employer to Ohio and the nation. For many years, local, state, and federal officials have worked diligently and invested in the company's success. I understand that the Ohio Department of Development has made recent offers to assist Navistar's Springfield operations. As we progress with our nation's economic recovery, I urge you to continue to work with local, state, and federal officials, along with the hundreds of Ohio workers who have been devoted to the company for many years.
Please don't hesitate to call on me as I stand ready to assist with efforts to help retain jobs in Springfield. Thank you for your prompt attention to this matter.
United States Senator