NATCHEZ, Miss. (Oct. 4)—Striking Steelworkers at Titan International Inc.'s Natchez tire plant rejected the company's five-year contract offer Oct. 2, just six days after a similar pact was ratified by a USWA local in Des Moines, Iowa. Local 303 in Natchez, whose 300-plus members struck against Titan on Sept. 15, 1998, voted down the proposal because of "a lot of ifs," local President Leo T. Bradley said. The questions primarily stem from the Natchez facility's mothballing this spring. Titan has said it would reopen the plant only when economic conditions recover and indicated it might not happen for 12-18 months. Titan President and CEO Maurice Taylor Jr. said he has no problem with the union's rejection of the contract because the plant isn't running now anyway. He said the union wanted him to specify when the Natchez factory would reopen, but he doesn't know. USWA officials have refused further comment on the Natchez situation, including the vote count, though Bradley did say it "wasn't real close."