Toronto, Ontario – The Canadian Auto Workers Union (CAW) has said that local politicians have agreed to seek out a meeting with Navistar, which earlier announced that it will lay off 470 workers at its Chatham, Ontario truck assembly plant. The politicians will discuss the plant’s future and voice the concern of community members about the effects of the layoff.

The announcement follows a meeting between CAW Local 127 representatives and Chatham-Kent mayor Randy Hope, MPP Pat Hoy and MP Dave Van Kesteren. The discussion will involve both International Truck and Engine and its parent company Navistar. No meeting date as been set.

Navistar received a $65 million government bailout to prevent its closure in 2002, as well as $44 million worth of cuts from workers, the CAW reported. The company has confirmed that production of the ProStar truck line has begun at its facility in Escobedo, Mexico.

“At our high point, technical and clerical workers totalled 199 members at Navistar in Chatham, and we’re now at 102 members,” said Sonny Galea, Local 35 chairperson at Navistar. “A further cutback in our membership only means increased hardship for the office workers who depend on these jobs and who give back so much to the community. Our committee will continue to have strong talks with the company.”

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