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BFNAT Invests in Bloomington Plant

Bridgestone/Firestone North American Tire is making a significant financial investment in its Bloomington, Ill., Off Road Tire plant that will allow the plant to produce new off road tire sizes and double the facility’s giant loader tire curing capacity.

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The investment will result in the addition of 50 new jobs at the facility. Total capital expenditure is expected to be a minimum of $12 million over the next five years.

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“As we have stated many times, we will continue to invest in our key facilities where there is stability, high productivity and an opportunity to make a reasonable return on investment,” said Shawn Rasey, vice president of Bridgestone Firestone Off Road Tire Company, a division of BFNAT. “The Bloomington plant is playing an important role in helping the company serve the needs of our customers who demand world-class heavy-duty tires.”

The new investment to bring in curing presses that will double the plant’s giant tire loader capacity has already begun and is expected to be completed this year. Additional projects that will allow the plant to produce new sizes and types of off road tires are currently under review and those details should be finalized in the near future, the company said.

The global demand for off road tires remains strong. This new investment ensures that BFNAT customers will continue to receive the products they need to maintain their success in the global marketplace, the company said.

Hourly workers at the facility recently approved a labor contract extension through 2012. The agreement between BFNAT and Local 787 of the USW covers 300 employees at the plant, which makes large heavy-duty off road tires for construction and mining applications. Under the agreement, Bloomington workers will receive the same wage and benefit provisions contained in a separate “master” contract between the USW and the company covering other BFNAT locations and have agreed to a no-strike clause during the entire term of the extension.

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