CTNA moves ahead with Charlotte cuts

May 1, 2006

Continental Tire North America Inc. (CTNA) is moving ahead with its cost reduction plan at its Charlotte, N.C., plant even though Steelworkers at the factory are free to strike at any time.

Earlier today, CTNA announced it had reached a contract talk impasse with the union.

The parties' old labor contract expired on April 30.

CTNA Senior Counsel Rick Holcomb has told moderntiredealer.com that the company is seeking wage reductions of 15%, a "new hire progression rate" that will ensure new workers are compensated at a lower wage than existing employees, pay cuts for employees in "non-core" positions and other measures.

CTNA is seeking $32 million in cuts at the Charlotte factory, which builds passenger and light truck tires, and began laying off Charlotte workers in mid-March. A second round of lay-offs is scheduled for June.

Passenger and light truck tire production in Charlotte will be suspended indefinitely this coming September, according to CTNA officials.

The United Steelworkers have authorized Charlotte employees to picket. The union does not have to issue an official notice before going on strike, says Holcomb.