Navistar and the UAW are continuing to bargain and are in their seventh week of discussions. Both sides have agreed to an extension of the previous labor agreement, which expired on October 1, 2014.
The company has been candid about the significant competitive shortfalls the UAW-represented facilities have compared to other manufacturing facilities, especially in regards to lean operations.
“There are still competitive gaps in these facilities that need to be addressed,” said Barry Morris, director of labor relations at Navistar. “We’re not asking for anything that isn’t already in place in other UAW-represented facilities,” he added.
According to the company, throughout the bargaining process Navistar has provided extensive data and information to the union. The information illustrates the need for change at these facilities.
Navistar and the UAW have agreed to extend all the terms of the current labor agreement that was set to expire October 1, 2014.
Both sides will continue the bargaining process while abiding by the provisions of their 2010 labor contract.
During the last week of bargaining, Navistar presented several proposals to the UAW.
All proposals contained changes from the current structure and would allow the UAW-represented facilities to fully embrace lean principles and become more competitive in terms of efficiency and cost structure.
“There’s been some good dialogue these last few weeks,” said Barry Morris, director of labor relations, Navistar. “We’ve now gone from an exchange of needs and concepts to what it means in terms of changes to the status quo.”
One of Navistar’s goals for negotiations is to make competitive improvements that will help Navistar succeed in the long term. “The only means to true job security is running a competitive operation,” said Morris. “A contemporary labor agreement is essential in order for these facilities to be competitive.”
Bargaining continues this week, as the October 1 contract expiration draws nearer. “Our focus is to agree on a new, more competitive contract prior to expiration of our current one,” Morris said.
For more information on the company’s position on its bargaining goals, visit the Negotiations website at www.navistar.com/negotiations.
During the initial days of negotiations, Navistar communicated current business challenges while offering high-level ideas on improvements to make the company – and our facilities – more competitive. “There are some legacy practices in our locations that if updated could be mutually beneficial,” said Barry Morris, director of labor relations, Navistar. “Some of our facilities have improved performance in recent months, which is great. That said, we still have a long path ahead of us to become competitive with other companies in terms of efficiency and cost structure.” Company representatives presented on such topics as contemporary operating environments, health care, parts operations and safety. “To be competitive, we must operate differently,” Morris added. “During this process with our UAW partners, we’re all sharing ideas on how we can change and address our business challenges to ensure Navistar’s future.” No bargaining will take place over the weekend. Meetings will resume Monday, September 8.
Bargaining representatives from both Navistar and the UAW met today in the Chicago area for the official opening of labor contract negotiations. The current agreement between Navistar and employees in five locations expires on October 1, 2014.
The meeting included presentations from company executives about the Navistar’s business challenges, the need to operate differently based on lean principles and areas of competitive change needed in a new labor agreement. UAW executives from its headquarters in Detroit also presented opening commentary.
“Our goals are to work with the UAW to make competitive improvements that will help Navistar succeed in the long term, and to achieve a competitive wage and benefit package that allows employees and retirees to maintain a good quality of life,” said Barry Morris, director of labor relations for Navistar.
Barry added, “I am optimistic that we can work together with the UAW to create the necessary changes in our business during this bargaining process.”