USW and Titan Seem Together on CTNA Plant Buy
(Akron/Tire Review) Not surprisingly, the United Steelworkers (USW), which is facing difficult contract and cutback talks with Continental Tire North America (CTNA), publicly “welcomed” news that Titan International is seeking to buy CTNA’s Bryan, Ohio, OTR plant. The union had refrained from making any public statements regarding the plant’s previous suitors – Roesler Group and Pensler Capital – though. And, the USW’s support of Titan comes after the two parties spent the last five years at virtual war, including a 40-plus month strike.
“Several buyers have shown significant interest in our plant in the last three years,” said John Bowling, USW Local 890 chairman for the plant. “Our local leadership is optimistic that Titan is committed to U.S. manufacturing and maintaining our production here in Bryan.”
Titan purchased Goodyear’s agricultural tyre business last December, which included Goodyear’s Freeport, Ill., tyre plant. Titan and the USW spent the better part of nine months negotiating a new contract with Local 890, required in order to conclude the purchase, then quickly negotiated a new contract at its existing Des Moines plant.
“We believe Titan has developed a good business model for its segment of the tyre and wheel market,” said Ron Hoover, USW executive vice president. “Let’s see how Bryan might work in this equation.”
“We’re ready to schedule meetings with Titan to see firsthand how the Bryan plant might fit into its tyre businesses,” said Bowling.