International, UAW reach tentative agreement on new labor contracts

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International Truck and Engine Corp. and the leadership of the United Auto Workers union have reached a tentative agreement on new three-year labor contracts, the company announced Wednesday, Dec. 12. The tentative agreement is subject to ratification through a majority vote by the UAW members at the affected locations.

Voting likely will be scheduled for this weekend, as specified by each local union. If ratified, the new contracts would replace the five-year agreements that expired Oct. 1. No details of the tentative agreement will be communicated publicly prior to completion of the ratification vote.

For more than two years, Warrenville, Ill.-based International says it has been engaged intermittently in bargaining with the UAW, attempting to reach agreement on changes that would achieve two company goals: improve the competitiveness of International’s UAW-represented facilities, and maintain a good quality of life for employees and retirees.

The current round of negotiations opened on Aug. 27. On Oct. 23, UAW called a strike at the nine company locations that are covered by the expired contracts. Customer orders were shifted to International’s other locations for production to be completed, and International says the production continuation plans will remain in place until the tentative agreements are ratified.

The UAW represents about 3,700 employees at nine International facilities in Indianapolis (engine assembly and foundry); Melrose Park, Ill. (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.

“Our negotiating team did an outstanding job bringing these talks to a successful close,” said UAW Vice President General Holiefield, who directs the union’s Heavy Trucks Department. “They stood up to the company’s demands and came away with an agreement that protects jobs, wages and healthcare benefits for our membership.”

UAW’s Navistar Policy Committee, made up of bargainers from each of the 11 locals, says it also secured a moratorium on outsourcing, plant closures, spinoffs or sales during the term of the agreement.

“Job security was the top priority for our members at ITE,” said UAW President Ron Gettelfinger. “The bargainers held firm in insisting on these moratoriums that will benefit not only themselves, but also the communities where they live and work. Our team had the support and assistance of the UAW regional directors who service ITE facilities. We are all very pleased with this agreement and are recommending it to the membership for ratification.”