Hundreds of New Flyer bus plant workers may face layoffs

Winnipeg-based bus manufacturer New Flyer Industries is warning 1,600 workers of possible layoffs after the state of New Jersey suspended a large order of coach buses.

Pink slips could be issued in November if New Jersey Transit funding issue not resolved in September

Motor Coach Industries, a subsidiary of New Flyer Industries, has advised its workers of possible layoffs after New Jersey suspended funding for transportation projects. (New Flyer)

Winnipeg-based bus manufacturer New Flyer Industries is warning 1,600 workers of possible layoffs after the state of New Jersey suspended a large order of coach buses.

Motor Coach Industries (MCI), a subsidiary of New Flyer Industries, was purchased by the Winnipeg-based company in 2015.

New Flyer CEO Paul Soubry said there could be job losses in Winnipeg and North Dakota now that the deal to deliver more than 1,200 commuter coaches and transit buses to NJ Transit is up in the air.

On July 7, after five coach busses were delivered to NJ Transit and accepted, the transit agency notified Motor Coach Industries that N.J. Gov. Chris Christie had suspended all state-funded transportation projects.

At the time, the company had 81 coach buses that were either in stages of production or were in transit to New Jersey.

MCI said it believes NJ Transit will rescind the suspension of their order once infrastructure funding issues in the state have been sorted out.

Christie issued an emergency order June 30 to halt transportation expenditure after Democratic leaders in the state senate refused to support a deal on gasoline and sales taxes that had been reached by the Democrat-led state assembly and Christie's administration.

Potential layoffs at New Flyer could begin mid-November if the funding issue is not solved by mid-September, the company said.

with files from the Canadian Press