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USW, Cooper Have New Findlay Contract

Cooper Tire & Rubber Co. and the USW agreed to a new three-year contract covering workers at Cooper’s headquarters tire plant.

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The company’s previous contract with USW Local 207 expired on Oct. 31, and was extended to Nov. 21 by mutual agreement.

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It is unclear how this new contract will impact Cooper’s current review of its four U.S. tire plants. The company has been considering its capacity needs and fielding assistance offers from state and local governments, all interested in keeping open their local Cooper plant.

Cooper is expected to announce its capacity plans in January, and analysts suggest that at least one plant will be closed.

Cooper has tire plants in Findlay, opened in 1917; Texarkana, Ark., opened in 1964; Tupelo, Miss., opened in 1960; and Albany, Ga., opened in 1967. All produce passenger and light truck/SUV tires.

Commenting on the tentative agreement, which will be voted on by Local 207 members later this month, Jack Hamilton, Findlay plant manager, said, "The agreement, if approved, will position the Findlay plant in a competitive manner which is especially important while we are finalizing the network capacity study." (Tire Review/Akron)

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