FINDLAY, Ohio (Dec. 11, 2008)-Cooper Tire & Rubber Co. has reached a tentative agreement with the United Steelworkers Local 752L at its Texarkana, Ark., factory.
The union currently is working under an agreement that would not have expired until 2010.
"We were pleased at the cooperation with our union leadership in coming to the table early to help put Cooper Tire in a more competitive position," said John Bodart, acting vice president of North American Tire Operations. "This new contract will be factored into the network capacity analysis now being done for all of our manufacturing plants in North America."
Local 752L President David Boone said he was satisfied with the agreement.
"We stepped up to demonstrate that Texarkana fully understands the challenging situation that Cooper Tire is in, and to show that we have the ability to make changes necessary to make sure that our plant is as competitive as possible when all of the plants are evaluated," he said.
The Findlay-based tire maker had announced it is conducting a capacity study that could lead to the closure of one of its four U.S. plants. The other three factories are in Findlay; Tupelo, Miss.; and Albany, Ga. Cooper also recently forged a new contract with union workers in Findlay.
Cooper posted a $55 million loss for the third quarter and a $76 million loss for the first nine months of the year.
An informational meeting for Texarkana union members is scheduled for Dec. 12 and a vote will take place Dec. 13.