BRYAN, Ohio (July 31) – Members of United Steelworkers Local 890 ratified a four-year contract with tire and wheel maker Titan International Inc. on July 30, paving the way for Titan to purchase the Bryan off-the-road tire plant from Continental Tire North America Inc.
More than 80 percent of the membership voted, and the pact was ratified by a "huge majority," the union said.
Titan is slated to take over the plant on Aug. 1, but no announcement has been made yet.
"We´re very pleased with the results," said John Bowling, Local 890 local chairman. "This has been a long, grinding process and we´re glad it´s finally over."
The local has been in negotiations with three different potential buyers — the German firm Rosler Group, Pensler Capital Corp. and Titan — since January 2005. The union could not reach an agreement with Rosler or Pensler, but carved out the deal with Titan in a relatively short period of time. Titan announced April 24 it was negotiating with Conti for the Bryan plant.
The new agreement calls for improved contract language, general wage increases in each of the four years, improved health care insurance, more secure pensions, and plant closure protection. "It´s a good agreement and we´re happy that Titan is committed to building tires in the U.S. and particularly right here in Bryan, Ohio," Bowling said.