Navistar Union Contract Negotiations Loom

By Brien McElhatten

July 30, 2010 Updated Jul 30, 2010 at 6:30 PM EDT

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (Indiana's' NewsCenter) - While the future of 1,400 Navistar jobs remain in question, negotiations with the union representing some of those workers will begin soon.

"We'll do whatever it takes to keep jobs here," said Tom Burkholder, President of UAW Local 2911.

Contract negotiations are scheduled to begin on August 23rd.

While looking on the bright side, Burkholder paints a not-so-bright picture of the relationship between Navistar executive Dee Kapur and his union workers.

"I don't think the likes us," Burkholder said.

The union chief says company executives have not been communicating with him on any possible moves to the Chicago area, as company officials appear to be completing a deal that would plant the company's headquarters in Lisle, Illinois.

Indiana's NewsCenter spoke with a Fort Wayne attorney who, while not involved with either party, says both sides should realize their cooperative potential.

"It's in everyone's best interest for that entity to survive so they can all have well paying and secure jobs. Management needs to understand that they need to share when things are good and workers need to understand when they get their fair share when times are good, that when things are bad they need to tighten the belt a little bit and work together," said Anthony Stites, Managing Partner at Barrett and McNagny LLP.

Navistar officials could not be reached for comment on Friday.

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