WASHINGTON (May 4)—A National Labor Relations Board appeals panel has upheld a previous administrative law judge's decision finding Titan International Inc. violated federal labor law in its dealings with union workers at its Des Moines, Iowa, farm tire plant. The appeal decision, handed down by a three-judge panel April 30, affirmed the Feb. 11, 1999, ruling of NLRB ALJ Jerry Hermele that Titan was guilty of several unfair labor practices against members of United Steelworkers Local 164, who staff the company's Des Moines facility. Titan appealed the original decision immediately after it was handed down. Company President and CEO Maurice Taylor Jr. has said he would appeal an unfavorable ruling to the U.S. appeals court level if necessary. Local 164 walked out at Titan over contract differences on May 1, 1998, launching the longest strike in U.S. tire industry history.