Court upholds anti-union lawsuit

Aug. 7, 2003

The federal court in Springfield, Ill., has denied a request to dismiss Titan International Inc.'s racketeering lawsuit filed against the United Steelworkers of America (USWA).

Titan is accusing the union of "interfering with (the company's) ability to conduct business" during the USWA's 40-month-long strike that ended in 2001 "by employing such tactics as bomb threats, harassment, falsified workers' compensation claims, extortion, and interference aimed at destroying the company," according to Titan officials.

The lawsuit, originally filed in September 2000, seeks $240 million in damages.

The court's ruling marks the second time the union's request for dismissal has been shot down.

"Employees, stockholders and Titan's customers were all injured by the unlawful activities of the defendants and we must persist in our effort to reclaim what was lost," says Titan President and CEO Morry Taylor.

Steelworkers picketed at Titan's Des Moines, Iowa, and Natchez, Miss., plants.

In late July, Titan announced it is consolidating all tire manufacturing into its Des Moines facility, leaving its Brownsville, Texas, plant as a distribution center.

It is believed that lingering effects from the strike -- the longest in tire industry history -- contributed to the decision.