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CTNA Tells Mt. Vernon Workers of Cutback, Capital Plans

(Akron/Tire Review) According to a story last Friday in the Benton (Ill.) Evening News, workers at Continental Tire North America’s (CTNA) tire plant in Mt. Vernon, Ill., are being asked to accept a 10% wage decrease, a 50% increase in insurance costs, vacation cuts and a pension freeze.

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CTNA announced Jan. 12 that it planned $60 million to $70 million in capital improvements at the 32-year-old plant but also said it was seeking the cutbacks, which reportedly will be implemented Mar. 1.

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The Evening News story said that employees were called to special meetings at the passenger and light truck tire plant late last week to hear an outline of CTNA’s plans for the plant. Alan Hippe, CTNA’s president and CEO, met with the employees.

When it announced its plans for the plant on Jan. 12, CTNA said it was “a major initiative to ensure long-term viability” for the Mt. Vernon plant, the only CTNA tire plant that hasn’t suffered cutbacks or shutdowns over the past three years. CTNA’s Mayfield, Ky., tire plant was shuttered in December 2004, and its Charlotte plant faces a nearly 50% cut in employment yet this year.

The capital infusion, said CTNA, “will improve efficiency and increase productivity through a combination of capital improvements and the restructuring of tire operations to bring overall manufacturing costs in line with global competition.”

While news media were not permitted to attend the employee meetings, the newspaper said, some plant workers it spoke with after the meetings were upset. 

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