USW files 10 charges against Cooper Tire

Dec. 7, 2011

The United Steelworkers (USW) International and its Local 207L filed charges with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) against Cooper Tire & Rubber Co. on Dec. 6, 2011.

The union is alleging that Cooper committed unfair labor practices in bargaining and imposing a lockout at its Findlay, Ohio, tire plant. Cooper locked out 1,051 members of USW Local 207L on Nov. 29, 2011.

(See "Cooper locks out steelworkers at Findlay plant.")

The USW said that the centerpiece to the charges is the company's demand that bargaining unit members ratify a contract absent the full details of an incentive plan that could possibly result in major wage cuts.

"Cooper insisted that its incomplete proposal would have to be accepted, ratified and implemented before necessary studies would be finalized," says the union. "That meant workers would vote on a proposal not knowing if their wages were increasing or decreasing and by what amounts."

In total, the USW alleges some10 charges. They include the following:

* refusing to bargain by conditioning continuation of talks on the union moving from its current negotiating position;

* falsely declaring impasse;

* disparaging the International union in meetings with bargaining unit members; and

* unilaterally changing conditions of employment by canceling scheduled work and extending the Thanksgiving holiday shutdown until the lockout began on Nov. 29.

"The unfair practices also include the lockout itself and its continuation in support of a bargaining position tainted by the illegal labor practices cited in the charges," added the USW.

For more informaion, check out these links:

"USW condemns Cooper lockout in Findlay" and

"Lockout will have little effect in 4Q, says Ludwig."