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Massive fire at GM supplier leads to lost week for some local workers

A fire at a GM supplier in Michigan will mean some workers at Springfield’s Navistar plant will be without work for about a week, Navistar officials said today.

According to information from the Lansing State Journal, a massive fire earlier this week caused serious damage at the Meridian Magnesium facility in Eaton Rapids, Mich., that city’s largest employer. The company’s website describes Meridian as a supplier of cast metal solutions for the transportation industry and lists several companies including GM and Ford as its customers.

That newspaper reported two people were injured and 150 workers were evacuated from the fire.

Lyndi McMillan, a spokeswoman for Navistar, confirmed to the Springfield News-Sun that the company also supplies parts for products made at Navistar’s Springfield facility. Because the firm will not be able to ship parts for those products, McMillan said some workers on Navistar’s second line will be without work for about one week between May 7 and May 14.

It was not immediately clear how many workers will be affected, and officials from the UAW Local 402, which represents the majority of the facility’s workers, could not immediately be reached for comment. Navistar is one of the region’s largest employers.

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Along with upcoming medium-duty trucks, Navistar workers in Springfield produce a GM cutaway van as part of a separate joint agreement with the company.

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