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CTNA, Steelworkers reach impasse as contract expires

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Continental Tire North America Inc. (CTNA) has reached an impasse in contract talks with the United Steelworkers. "Unfortunately, despite our best efforts during months of negotiations, we have not reached any agreement to reduce manufacturing costs in our Charlotte, N.C., facility," says CTNA Vice President of Human Resources Rick Ledsinger.

CTNA presented its final offer to the union last week. The union rejected the proposal yesterday, when the parties' existing contract expired, and presented a counterproposal "that fell significantly short of the $32 million necessary to get the Charlotte facility cost competitive," according to CTNA officials.

"Given the union’s rejection of our final proposal and the lack of progress toward reaching an agreement, we believe that negotiations have reached an impasse."

CTNA officials say they will implement "certain provisions" of the company's final offer today. The tiremaker wants to reduce costs at the Charlotte plant by $32 million.

"We’ve run out of time," says Ledsinger, "and at this point we have no choice but to move forward with our North American restructuring plan and begin to get CTNA back to profitability.”

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