Tulsa Bus Plant: A Battle for Job Preservation and Economic Growth

With the threat of eviction looming over IC Bus, the school bus manufacturing facility at Tulsa International Airport, the City of Tulsa risks losing 1,600 jobs. The situation has reached an impasse, and IC Bus is concerned about the long-term lease for their extensive manufacturing space. If a resolution cannot be reached with Mayor G.T. Bynum and the City, the company may be forced to relocate outside of Oklahoma.

Over the past two decades, IC Bus has created 1,600 manufacturing jobs, providing substantial economic benefits to Tulsa. With an annual expenditure of $750 million with vendors and suppliers, IC Bus has become an essential pillar in the local economy, supporting over 100 businesses. However, the sudden desire of City officials to break the long-term framework and threaten eviction is perplexing to the company.

Phil Christman, President of Operations for Navistar International Corporation, the parent company of IC Bus, emphasizes the importance of resolving this matter to ensure the company’s continued presence in Tulsa. Despite the current challenging economic conditions, IC Bus remains operational and has plans for growth. The potential loss of 1,600 jobs in such an environment makes no sense.

Unfortunately, the City’s demands have added to the complexity of the situation. In addition to the eviction threat, IC Bus is being required to invest approximately $20 million into various projects by 2024 and face a staggering rent increase of $28 million over the next decade. These demands have hindered negotiations and put additional strain on IC Bus.

The company has made significant contributions to the community, not just through job creation but also by providing competitive wages. Starting wages are approximately $19 per hour, with experienced workers earning up to $32 per hour. This translates to over $60 million in direct income to local workers annually, along with comprehensive healthcare and retirement benefits.

Further reading:  Revitalizing Wilting and Drooping Hydrangeas

IC Bus’s impact extends beyond its own operations, generating new economic development through its suppliers. One such supplier is constructing a new manufacturing plant in Tulsa, specializing in seating systems for school buses, to support IC Bus’s production.

The ongoing battle between IC Bus and the City of Tulsa has not yet disrupted manufacturing operations. With enhanced safety protocols in place due to COVID-19, bus production continues steadily, with approximately 75 vehicles completed daily. However, the standstill agreement with the City is set to expire on May 29, 2020, and IC Bus hopes for a reasonable resolution before that date.

Local employees are being urged to join the “Save Tulsa Jobs” campaign, demonstrating their support for retaining IC Bus in Tulsa. Through the campaign’s website, employees and others can reach out to elected officials and voice their concerns.

The City of Tulsa and IC Bus entered into a groundbreaking agreement in 1999, repurposing an abandoned bomber plant into the world’s leading school bus production facility. With investments exceeding $140 million, IC Bus has transformed the plant into a modern manufacturing powerhouse over the past two decades.

The potential loss of IC Bus would not only impact the local economy but also disrupt the lives of hardworking men and women who depend on these jobs. It is essential to protect the plant’s viability and secure the future of 1,600 manufacturing jobs.

IC Bus remains committed to finding a resolution that allows them to stay in Tulsa, capitalizing on the city’s skilled workforce and fostering further growth. However, if local leaders are unwilling to honor the terms of the lease and work towards a reasonable solution, IC Bus may have no choice but to seek alternative locations where their investments and commitments will be appreciated.

Further reading:  Harnessing the Power of Bay Leaves for Manifestation

For more information about the ongoing dispute and to show your support for IC Bus in Tulsa, visit Ames Farm Center