Conti Calls an Impasse, Cuts Worker Wages, Benefits - Tire Review Magazine

Conti Calls an Impasse, Cuts Worker Wages, Benefits

(Akron/Tire Review) Beginning today, workers at Continental Tire North America’s (CTNA) Charlotte, N.C., tire plant will be getting smaller paychecks – if they stay on the job.

The tiremaker declared an impasse in its negotiations with the United Steelworkers, and immediately instituted the wage and benefit cuts its has sought since last fall.

However, according to reports, the USW and its Local 850, which represents the plant, plan to file a grievance with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) that will allow them to continue negotiating with the tiremaker.

In addition, union members have told their leadership they are prepared to go out on strike if a new master contract with CTNA cannot be forged. Local leadership, however, plans to continue talks.

The master contract expired at midnight Sunday.

The wage and benefit cuts instituted today, according to CTNA, will save the company some $32 million in annual operating costs at the plant, and came after nearly two dozen negotiating sessions with Local 850.

The Charlotte Observer reported that the two sides met for more than 12 hours on Apr. 30, with the USW claiming it had made a proposal that save CTNA some $17 million per year – just over half of what the tiremaker has steadfastly said it needed in concessions since October 2005.

On Apr. 29, Local 850 members held a demonstration at CTNA’s headquarters offices in Charlotte, reportedly to protest CTNA’s policies.

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