PITTSBURGH (Dec. 15) — United Steelworkers locals at two production sites will vote on new five-year contracts with Titan International Inc. as early as Dec. 21, the union said Dec. 15.
Members of USW Local 164, which staffs Titan´s Des Moines, Iowa, farm tire plant, and USW Local 745 at Goodyear's Freeport, Ill., agricultural tire factory, will be set to vote after the union holds informational meetings regarding the new pacts at the sites this week.
Titan agreed to purchase Goodyear´s farm tire business in February, but holdups in a new labor agreement with the workforce caused the deadline for the transaction to be extended several times. A contract in Freeport will allow the deal to be completed.
In Des Moines, the current agreement between Titan and Local 164 expires Dec. 15 of next year, but the two sides have worked to get a new deal done early. That would be a big turnaround from the last time a contract came due in Des Moines: in 1998, after its previous three-year pact expired, the local walked out and stayed out for 41 months, the longest strike in tire and rubber industry history.
The Pittsburgh-based USW hopes to line up the expiration dates of the two contracts, which tentatively will run through Dec. 7, 2010.