U.S. truck plant idling on Canadian tax dollars

Ontario taxpayers have provided the U.S. owners of a Chatham truck plant with millions of dollars to keep it open, but the government won’t disclose job and production commitments for the operation that has now remained idle for more than three months.

Economic Development and Trade Minister Sandra Pupatello said Tuesday she couldn’t reveal whether International Truck and Engine Corp. had breached its commitments at the Navistar assembly plant in Chatham.

Pupatello said in an interview that terms of the deal remain confidential and the information could affect contract talks between the company and union during the current shutdown.

“It puts us in an awkward position because of the discussions between the company and the labour force,” she added. “Clearly, disclosure could give one (side) an advantage and that’s not our role.”

U.S.-based parent Navistar International stopped truck production at the end of June when management and the Canadian Auto Workers hit an impasse in bargaining.
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