TULSA, Okla. — A lot of Tulsans are worried about a rumored eviction which could cost thousands of jobs. The dilemma involves the city and the Tulsa bus plant.
Navistar, the company which owns the IC bus plant in Tulsa, launched an online campaign called Save Tulsa Jobs. The site reads, the City of Tulsa is threatening IC Bus with a lease termination effective February.
Tulsa Mayor G.T. Bynum outright says no eviction notice was filed.
IC Bus has called Tulsa home for the past 20 years and they have another 20 to go to complete the lease. 1,600 people work at the plant including Phillip Womack and his wife. He says he heard about the rumored eviction through a coworker.
Womack said, “It doesn’t make sense to anybody that’s an existing company to be forced out, especially when you employ as many people as IC Bus and Navistar do locally.”
Womack and his wife are now worried for their livelihood.
Navistar’s online campaign says the mayor’s office is demanding the plant make several upgrades and replacements including driveway repaving and resurfacing and improvements to the carpeting and ceiling tiles.
Mayor Bynum released a statement after being notified of the campaign.
“The City of Tulsa is currently negotiating the renewal of a lease on one million square feet of industrial work space owned by the citizens of Tulsa. The tenant has leased that space for two decades at a total lease price of one dollar. The only thing required of the tenant under their contract is that they properly maintain this taxpayer-owned facility so it is safe. A public relations campaign launched today grossly mischaracterizes these negotiations in an obvious attempt to politicize them. My response: the citizens of Tulsa will not be played for suckers.I remain confident we can identify common ground to secure jobs and properly maintain this facility. We’ve done so with great success during my time as mayor with other tenants, and I see no reason why this case would be any different.”
The campaign reads, their agreement to continue discussions expires May 29.
A Navistar/IC Bus representative sent 2 Works for You the below copy of the notice of termination sent by the City of Tulsa in January.
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