DES MOINES, Iowa (Sept. 7)—United Steelworkers Local 164—involved in the longest strike in U.S. tire industry history—has reached a tentative contract agreement with Titan International Inc., the union announced Sept. 7. The 40-month strike—which began when Local 164's 670 members walked out at Titan's Des Moines, Iowa, farm tire plant May 1, 1998—would conclude with a ratification vote. The approval process will take about two weeks, the union said. The local struck over issues such as mandatory overtime, a two-tier wage system, retiree medical benefits and pensions and job security. After the strike began, the union filed labor law violation charges over the company's use of permanent replacement workers and other alleged actions. The National Labor Relations Board has backed several of those charges. "As in any negotiated settlement, we did not get everything we wanted, but we can endorse the (tentative agreement) in good conscience," said Local 164 President John Peno. "We will now put it to our membership for a ratification vote." The USWA also announced Local 303, which has been striking at Titan's Natchez, Miss., tire plant since Sept. 15, 1998, has reached a tentative agreement with the company as well. The facility there has been mothballed since June of this year. No details of either agreement will be made available by the union until vote results are announced, the USWA said.
USWA reaches tentative agreements with Titan in Des Moines, Natchez
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