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There Will Be No Labor Strife at Cooper in 2019!

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The four-year labor agreement between the United Steelworkers (USW) and Cooper Tire & Rubber Co.'s Clarksdale, Miss., bladder and mixing facility is tentative no more.

On Feb. 17, 2019, Cooper confirmed that members of USW Local 556L had ratified the agreement, which covers more than 40 USW members.

"This is an example of labor and management working together in a positive way to move the Clarksdale facility forward into the future,” said Joseph Qualls, president of USW Local 556L.

"We commend the union for working together with the company to address what is important to employees and to the global competitiveness of the Clarksdale plant," said Fred Doster, plant manager.

Eleven days earlier on Feb. 6, Cooper confirmed that members of USW Local 752L in Texarkana, Ark., had ratified their own four-year labor agreement, which covers more than 1,400 USW tire plant members. The Texarkana plant has the capacity to produce 32,000 consumer tires a day, according to the 2019 Modern Tire Dealer Facts Issue.

"We are extremely proud of the USW team in Texarkana as well as the assistance we received from International Secretary-Treasurer Stan Johnson and Sub-District Director Don Davies," said Kerry Halter, president of USW Local 752L. "Their leadership was critical to the outcome."

Scott Cole, Texarkana plant manager, referred to the negotiation process as "thoughtful."

"We are gratified that Texarkana plant employees recognized the value of the new labor contract and continued to maintain Cooper Tire Texarkana’s competitive position in the global tire industry," he said. "This upholds the positive momentum we have established over the past several years working together.”

Cooper also has tire plants in Findlay, Ohio, and Tupelo, Miss. The labor agreement between USW Local 207L in Findlay and Cooper will not expire until February, 2020. The Findlay plant, the oldest of Cooper's three tire plants in the U.S., has the capacity to produce 23,000 tires a day.

Cooper's tire plant in Tupelo is a non-union facility. It has the capacity to produce 42,000 consumer tires a day.

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