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The big wind down: timeline tracks Charlotte's decline

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Continental Tire North America Inc. (CTNA) "made every effort to negotiate an agreement with the Steelworkers to preserve jobs in the Charlotte (N.C.) plant," say Continental officials as layoffs at the factory continue. Production in Charlotte will be suspended this September.

Here's a look at key developments in the Charlotte plant's decline over the last 13 months:

June 1, 2005: CTNA says it will cut production at the factory by up to 18,000 units by the end of July 2005. At the time of the announcement, the factory had the capacity to produce 25,000 passenger and light truck tires per day.

Oct. 25, 2005: CTNA and the Steelworkers begin contract talks.

Dec. 5, 2005: It's reported that CTNA may reduce Charlotte production by 30% if workers don't agree to a 35% cut in pay and benefits. CTNA wants to cut costs in Charlotte by $32 million overall.

Jan. 9, 2006: CTNA says it will lay off 513 employees starting in March.

March 10, 2006: CTNA announces indefinite suspension "on or about" Sept. 15, 2006, and cites high manufacturing costs as the reason.

May 1, 2006: The company and the union reach an impasse as their current contract expires.

May 8, 2006: CTNA announces even more layoffs, slated to take place in July.

CTNA "indefinitely" suspended production at its Mayfield, Ky., plant at the end of 2004.

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