The move was announced during a conference call with employees at all four of Cooper’s U.S. plants. Cooper will retain its plants in Findlay, Ohio; Texarkana, Ark., and Tupelo, Miss. Cooper recently reached agreements on new concession-laden contracts with USW workers at its Findlay and Texarkana plants.
Cooper announced in October that it would review the viability of its U.S. capacity, with an eye toward closing at least one plant. An announcement on the result of that study was not expected until January, but the decisions may have been hastened by the new union contracts and incentives the state of Mississippi is expected to extend to the tiremaker.
In addition to cutting one plant, Cooper reportedly told workers that the three remaining plants would go to 24-hour, seven-day-a-week production, and that staff may be added.
The report said that it would take 12 months to close the Albany plant. (Tire Review/Akron)