CTNA’s Charlotte Tyre Plant Faces Uncertain Future
(Akron/Tire Review) Continental Tire North America Inc. (CTNA) may cut additional jobs at its Charlotte, NC, tyre plant or shut down the facility, according to Alan Hippe, chief financial officer for Continental AG. Hippe told The Charlotte Observer that the Charlotte plant is CTNA’s most expensive manufacturing facility. Health care and pensions are primarily responsible for the high costs, he told the newspaper.
CTNA will begin negotiations with the United Steelworkers (USW) over the next several weeks, Hippe said. The current union contract expires in April.
“We will make an offer to them, and we will see if they have the capability to accept that offer or not,” Hippe told the newspaper. “And, definitely, that will, at the end, bring the conclusion and the decision concerning the future of that plant.”
CTNA’s Charlotte plant produces approximately 25,000 passenger and light truck tyres per day for OE and replacement markets. The Charlotte plant currently employs about 900 employees, represented by the USW, Local 850. In July, CTNA reduced capacity in the Charlotte plant by about 30 per cent.
Mark Cieslikowski, president of Local 850, said the union-represented workers are ready to share in the increased health-care costs but are also asking CTNA to invest in new equipment and the local government to offer investment incentives.