CHATHAM, Ont. — Navistar International Corp. says its Chatham plant will remain open for a short period of time in hopes a deal can be reached with the federal and provincial governments.
The plant was slated for closure July 18, but officials say they will keep it open as long as talks about a potential financial aid package continue.
“We’re extending the closing date for a short period as long as meaningful discussions with government agencies concerning financial support continue,” Roy Wiley, Navistar’s manager of external communications told the Canadian Press. “By nature and experience, I’m optimistic about reaching a successful conclusion to our discussions.”
Currently, 750 people work at the plant and another 1,300 are laid off. Bob Chernecki, spokesman for the Canadian Auto Workers, told local media he’s cautiously optimistic.
“It’s obviously a good sign and the fact that talks are continuing is positive,” he said. “But everything is fragile right now.”
About $15.4 million in annual assistance is required from the provincial and federal governments in order to keep the plant in Chatham. If a deal isn’t reached, production will be moved to Mexico.
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