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Union OKs New Contract; Clears Way for Titan Buy

(Akron/Tire Review) United Steelworkers Local 890 approved a new four-year master contract with Titan International, clearing the way for Titan to acquire the Continental Tire North America’s Bryan, Ohio, OTR tire plant.

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The contract was ratified during a two-day vote by membership over July 29-30, with more than 80% approving the deal.

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It is expected that Titan will close on the purchase on Aug. 1.

"We’re very pleased with the results," said John Bowling, Local 890 chairman. "This has been a long, grinding process and we’re glad it’s finally over."

Three separate suiters – Roesler Group, Pensler Capital and Titan – took turns making bids on the plant, but neither Roesler nor Pensler, which owns Denman Tire, could reach a deal.

"With Titan’s purchase of Goodyear’s Freeport, Ill., plant late last year and their agreement with Local 745, that deal served as a template for an agreement with us. The Freeport agreement made for smoother talks with Titan here in Bryan," said Bowling.

According to the union, the new deal calls for general wage increases in each of the four years, improved health care insurance, more secure pensions and plant closure protection.

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