Workhorse Plant Closing Set for Mid-November
The Workhorse Custom Chassis plant in Union City, Ind., that assembles chassis for trucks, large vans and motorhomes, will be shut down by mid-November, affecting the jobs of about 225 employees.
As reported by the Indianapolis Star, the move was part of parent Navistar International Inc.’s consolidation plan laid out in early August that included moving motorhome operations from Coburg, Ore., to Wakarusa, Ind. Navistar said Workhorse operations would be consolidated into other existing facilities for greater efficiency and productivity.
Word of the Union City closing was in a letter from the company and posted on the website of the Indiana Department of Workforce Development on Monday (Sept. 12). The company said that 173 jobs represented by United Auto Workers Union Local 494 will be affected at Union City.
An August statement from Navistar indicated the total number of jobs impacted by the changes at Union City was about 225. Union officials said that higher number includes non-union workers.
Union members said they were recently informed of the layoffs but have not yet been advised if they will receive any severance or other compensation.
The Union City plant, which assembles the chassis of trucks, vans and buses for large customers including UPS, is one of the largest employers in the community that straddles the Indiana-Ohio state line north of Richmond.
Workhorse Custom Chassis was formed in 1998. The operation was formerly known as Union City Body and once had nearly 1,100 workers.
The 209,000-square-foot plant was bought in 2005 by Navistar’s International Truck and Engine Corp. division.
The company website indicates it is the largest strip chassis manufacturing facility in the world, referring to the type of internal framework used as the foundation for motor homes, large step vans and similar vehicles. The plant only makes the chassis portion of the vehicles.