DES MOINES, Iowa-The Iowa Supreme Court on Dec. 19 voted 4-3 to uphold a contempt order against Titan International Inc. for not allowing state safety inspectors into its Des Moines farm tire plant in 1999.
Titan had not allowed the Occupational Safety and Health Administration team, plus representatives of the striking United Steelworkers of America local that staffs the plant, to enter during a visit. A district court judge had then ordered the company to allow the team in, but it refused. A similar incident took place in 2000 as well.
Titan paid the $500 fine for contempt, but CEO and President Maurice Taylor Jr. said he fought the decision up to the state Supreme Court on principle. ``(Iowa) is not a business state,'' he said. ``It shows when the rights of the individual are up against the rights of the government, the individual is going to lose.''
The strike at the plant, the longest in tire and rubber industry history, ended Sept. 26 after 41 months.