CHATHAM, Ont. — It hasn’t been a good month for Canadian truck builders.
Just two weeks after Daimler Trucks announced it’s eliminating the Sterling Truck brand and closing its St. Thomas, Ont. production facility, rival Navistar has issued layoff notices to nearly half of its staff at its own nearby Chatham, Ont. plant.
According to CBC, 450 International Truck and Engine plant workers, office staff and management will be let go, effective Jan. 31, 2009.
Another few hundred workers were already laid off earlier this year.
After the Sterling closure, a Navistar spokesman told media that there would not be any similar action at the International plant in Chatham. But weak freight volumes and a submerged U.S. economy have crippled Canadian-made commercial vehicle exports, leading the company to trim down production significantly.
Canadian Auto Workers Union representative Joe McCabe said the truckmaker is in decent shape in comparison to some of its competitors and he hopes the layoffs are just temporary.
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