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Navistar: Workers had warning of layoffs


Dispatch Staff Report



WEST POINT -- Employees at West Point''s Navistar plant had advance notice their jobs would be cut, said a company spokesperson. 


Navistar officials Friday announced 80 employees were cut from the West Point staff, leaving about 120 people working at the facility off Eshman Avenue, which produces mine-resistant, ambush-protected vehicles. 


"Our contract workforce was informed in the weeks leading up to the reduction," said Navistar spokesperson Elissa Koc. "All were made aware that production volumes were decreasing. All will receive severance (packages)." 


Clay County District 1 Supervisor Don Horton, whose district contains the plant, said Wednesday that he understood the latest round of layoffs were announced suddenly. 


Over the summer, Navistar lost a $1.06 billion Pentagon contract -- to build 2,244 MRAPs -- to Oshkosh Corp. 


Subsequently, 275 people at the West Point facility, which began operations in 2006, were terminated, with about 200 left to complete work on a contract for 262 "Husky" tactical support vehicles for the British military. 


The deadline for delivery of the Husky vehicles is February 2010. 


Navistar''s West Point facility also produces the company''s 7000-series vehicles for the U.S. Army Tank-automotive and Armaments Command, headquartered in Warren, Mich., Koc noted. 


Production of those vehicles is ongoing.




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