Members of the Canadian Auto Workers (CAW) union at International Truck and Engine Corporation have ratified new labour contracts that will run until June 30, 2009.

The decision modified contracts scheduled to expire on January 31, 2007. International Truck and Engine is the operating company of Navistar International Corporation.

Navistar announced in February that the company’s board of directors had approved the company’s overall heavy truck strategy, which called for a total programme investment of $US300 million for the introduction of a new line-haul Class 8 truck, but at that time no decision had been made as to where the truck would be produced.

The new contracts maintain and improve manufacturing flexibility and provide for a purchased modular assembly strategy for the new line-haul truck scheduled to be produced at Chatham from January 2007.

“The agreements ensure that Chatham will continue to be a significant source for our premium conventional heavy trucks,” a Navistar spokesman said.

Chatham currently produces 421 heavy trucks per week, an average 84 a day. Based on current demand, production is scheduled to increase to 110 units per day in late July following a scheduled two-week summer holiday shutdown.