Union Leader Speaks Out on Navistar

"I Don't Think They Like Us"

By WISE Web News

July 29, 2010 Updated Jul 29, 2010 at 10:49 PM EDT

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (Indiana's NewsCenter) - The leader of UAW Local 2911 is not pleased with Navistar executives and according to him, they aren't happy with the union.

"I don't think they like us," said 2911 President Tom Burkholder, referring to company executives in the Chicago area.

As Indiana's NewsCenter has reported, Navistar leaders are looking to consolidate their operations in Lise, Illinois. The move would likely mean 1,400 Fort Wayne jobs would move too.

Burkholder says officials have kept him and his workers in the dark about any plans to move. He says he is frustrated and his workers are concerned.

While company officials say no decisions have been made, select employees in Fort Wayne are being bussed to the Chicago area on relocation trips.

The massive Alcatel-Lucent building in Lisle is where Navistar execs would like to move their headquarters. It has reportedly been taken off the market, another sign of bad news for Fort Wayne.

Truck designers in Illinois are not under union contracts, but Fort Wayne designers are. Moving them to Illinois would free the company of union obligations.

When asked if the union would consider making concessions during their upcoming negotiation process, Burkholder said "we'll do what we have to do to keep jobs here."

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