USA - Navistar to extend shutdown of Ford engine plant

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INDIANAPOLIS -- International Truck and Engine will pause diesel engine production Friday, a move that will idle several hundred workers until the end of a summer shutdown in mid-July.

The employees will be laid off until June 30, and the previously scheduled shutdown will last until July 14, said Roy Wiley, a spokesman for Warrenville, Ill.-based Navistar International. International is the operating arm of Navistar.

He declined to comment on the number of employees affected, but a union official told The Indianapolis Star that 500 workers would be idled.

The plant supplies diesels for Ford pickup trucks. Wiley said high fuel prices and a construction industry slump has hampered demand for the engines.

About 100 employees will continue working in International's machine shop, and the company's 550-employee foundry will continue operations as well because it has other customers, Wiley said.