Cooper Tire provides update on labor negotiations at its Findlay Plant
FINDLAY, OHIO, DECEMBER 2, 2011 – COOPER TIRE & RUBBER COMPANY (NYSE: CTB) announced that despite multiple attempts this week to extend the recently expired contract with the United Steelworkers Local 207L (USW), the union leadership continued to decline an extension.
"Our first priority is to get our employees back on the job so they can continue earning a fair wage and benefits," said Chris Ostrander, President of North America Operations. "We offered to extend the agreement with no change in the existing terms again last night. This offer to get employees back to work was once again declined by the USW."
An extension of the previous agreement would have allowed the local USW workers back on the job as early as this weekend while the two parties continue to negotiate a long-term contract. It also would have demonstrated that the USW truly has the people's best interest in mind rather than the intention to create simultaneous work stoppages at both of Cooper's Findlay and Texarkana, Arkansas, plants. The USW has offered nothing more than a non-binding promise not to strike or a 30-day extension of the previous agreement – which only brings the two labor agreements even closer and puts our company, its customers, and all of our employees at risk.
"Without quality, cost-competitive products, there are no customers. Without customers, there are no jobs," said Ostrander. "It is essential that Cooper become more efficient in its existing operations to ensure the long-term viability of Cooper overall. Without being competitive and making a profit, we are unable to reinvest back in the business as we have done at the Findlay plant, where we've invested nearly $40 million and added nearly 150 union jobs since 2007."
Cooper remains committed to reaching an agreement that will help ensure the long-term competitiveness of the Findlay plant. Negotiations were suspended yesterday due to the Union committee being unavailable, but they are scheduled to continue again today.
About Cooper Tire & Rubber Company
Cooper Tire & Rubber Company (Cooper) is the parent company of a global family of companies that specialize in the design, manufacture, marketing, and sales of passenger car and light truck tires. Cooper has joint ventures, affiliates and subsidiaries that also specialize in medium truck, motorcycle and racing tires. Cooper's headquarters is in Findlay, Ohio, with manufacturing, sales, distribution, technical and design facilities within its family of companies, located in 10 countries around the world. For more information on Cooper, visit www.coopertire.com, www.facebook.com/coopertire, www.twitter.com/coopertire.
Company Contact: Michelle Zeisloft, 419-423-1321