QUINCY, Ill.—After a long negotiating process, five years of labor stability have been achieved by Titan International Inc. and the United Steelworkers.
The union ratified a pact covering about 750 workers at three facilities—Local 164 in Des Moines, Iowa; Local 745 in Freeport, Ill.; and Local 890 in Bryan, Ohio—that will run through Nov. 16, 2021. The two sides have been operating off the previously expired contract since Jan. 13 and initially reached a tentative agreement March 24.
The locals ratified the deal on May 17. While the union did not disclose the final tally, Local 745 President Don Hill said the agreement passed by about 100 votes.
"We went into negotiations in a down market and we didn't know what to expect," Hill said. "It ended up being a fair deal. We wanted more, but that's how negotiations go. We're happy enough with it. We're not jumping up and down, but we're happy with it."
The economy has not been kind to Titan of late. While sales improved 11.1 percent to $357.5 million in the first quarter, it still carried a $10.5 million net loss for the period, though that too was a 41-percent improvement from 2016.
In 2016, net sales dropped 9.3 percent to $1.27 billion with a net loss of $36.1 million, which improved by about 40 percent compared to 2015.
Titan and the USW also jointly petitioned the International Trade Commission on multiple cases during the last 18 months seeking relief from imports of off-the-road tires from a variety of Asia-Pacific countries with mixed results, some of which are still ongoing.