USW Reacts to Conti Mayfield Closing - Tire Review Magazine

USW Reacts to Conti Mayfield Closing

(Akron/Tire Review) As expected, the United Steelworkers (USW) reacted strongly to Continental Tires North America's (CTNA) announcement that it was closing its Mayfield, Ky., plant.

The closure, said the union, was not totally unexpected. "It was obvious to us long ago that Continental decided to abandon U.S. production," said USW executive vice president Ron Hoover. "Their business strategies and management teams never addressed the dynamics of this market, and unlike other successful companies, they refused to develop a collaborative relationship with us."

CTNA ended full-time tire production at the plant in December 2004, but maintained rubber mixing and warehouse operations there. Earlier this week, CTNA said it would end all operations there within six months.

"Conti never demonstrated any sense of dedication to its workers or the community here," said USW Local 665 president Terry Beane. "The only surprise today is that the company is finally acknowledging its intent to close our plant."

"Conti always thought it could be profitable by focusing almost exclusively on providing original equipment for American car manufacturers," said Hoover. "That strategy never worked, and I don’t see how it will improve when they try to push Mexican and Brazilian product down the same pipeline."

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