In a late Tuesday statement, Tulsa Mayor G.T. Bynum said IC Bus, a major manufacturer in Tulsa, and its parent company, Navistar, are mounting a "false campaign" in accusing City Hall of threatening their facility with eviction.
Under the name "Save Tulsa Jobs," Navistar released a statement saying that "the City of Tulsa is threatening to evict IC Bus from its school bus manufacturing facility at the Tulsa International Airport, a move which would cost the city and the state of Oklahoma 1,600 jobs."
Bynum responded Tuesday with a statement saying that the city has no desire to evict the company and that negotiations will continue over an allegation by a city-contracted inspector finding IC Bus violated the terms of their lease by not providing a safe working environment.
"A public relations campaign launched today grossly mischaracterizes these negotiations in an obvious attempt to politicize them," Bynum said in the statement. "My response: the citizens of Tulsa will not be played for suckers."
Bynum's response notes that the company has only paid $1 a year since its lease began in 2000, but that that price is contingent on certain safety investments made in the facility. The response also states that a negotiation meeting between the city and the company has been scheduled for Thursday, May 7th.