PEMBINA, N.D., May 27, 2022 – The International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM), which represents approximately 174 workers at the Motor Coach Industries (MCI) bus plant in Pembina, N.D., will use every resource available to protect its membership and stop MCI’s parent company, Canada-based New Flyer International, from closing the facility.
The announcement to close the Pembina facility comes a year after the IAM raised concerns that MCI was secretly taking steps towards closing the plant. The company, at the time, disputed those claims.
On May 19, 2022, MCI management informed its workforce that the plant, which has operated in Pembina since 1963, would close by the end of 2022.
IAM members at the facility proudly build motor coaches for inner-city transit and commuter buses, as well as specialized tour buses and prison buses. The company says that work done in Pembina will be transferred to MCI facilities in Canada and Minnesota.
“Unfortunately, our suspicions were correct when we sounded alarm bells about impending plans to close the MCI plant in Pembina and devastate this community,” said IAM Midwest Territory General Vice President Steve Galloway. “At a time when transit systems and the government are making massive investments in bus transit, it makes no sense to close this facility and lay off hundreds of skilled workers. We are in constant communication with our North Dakota District leadership and will continue to provide our members with any assistance necessary. The IAM is reaching out to all stakeholders to launch a full-court press to save this plant and this community.”
The closing announcement comes despite the company telling the IAM that the Pembina facility was one of two of its facilities that had made goals and were profitable during the first quarter of 2022.
In 2019, MCI moved the bulk of its CRT electric bus production from Pembina to its Crookston, Minn. facility. MCI expanded its Minnesota facility to accommodate the production, even though Pembina already had the capacity to run the product on an assembly line no longer used for production.
IAM offers to help further attract skilled workers to the Pembina plant have not been taken up by the company.