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CTNA Offers New Proposal to Charlotte Plant Workers

(Akron/Tire Review) Continental Tire North America (CTNA) has offered the USW-represented workers at its Charlotte, N.C., tire plant a new proposal that, company officials said, “achieves the same reduction in manufacturing costs with less impact on current employees and retirees.”

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CTNA offered no specific details about the new proposal.

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Tire company and union representatives have agreed to meet again in Charlotte Feb. 20-21 to discuss the new potential agreement.

An earlier proposal from the USW included concessions but fell short of the cost reductions necessary to make CTNA’s Charlotte plant globally cost competitive, CTNA said. “Calculations by CTNA project that the union’s proposal would achieve only a small fraction – approximately $1.7 million – of the $32 million in reductions sought by the company,” the company said in a statement.

CTNA and the USW have been in negotiations since October over the company’s restructuring plan, which involves reducing manufacturing costs at the Charlotte plant.

On Jan. 9, CTNA announced layoffs that are scheduled to begin Mar. 15. However, CTNA has informed the union that these layoffs may be reduced or avoided if the parties can reach an agreement to reduce manufacturing costs by $32 million.

“We want to work together with the union leadership to reach an agreement that reduces manufacturing costs so that we can keep the Charlotte plant running, but it’s a two-way street,” said Rick Ledsinger, vice president of human resources and chief negotiator. “It is time for the union to get serious about preserving jobs in Charlotte.”

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