Union Ratifies Continental’s Severance Agreement
United Steelworkers of America members have ratified an agreement providing severance packages and lump-sum payments involving Continental Tire North America’s decision to close its tyre plant in Mayfield, Kentucky, within the next few months.
It was back in 2004 that Continental first said that it intended to halt tyre production at the plant, which was formerly operated by GenCorp and General Tire. The company has been phasing out tyre production there for several years and, in August, announced it intended to close the plant in February. At its peak, the Mayfield plant employed over 2,000 hourly workers, but the total now is around 100, says the USW.
In April, Continental opened a new tyre factory in Brazil and said tyres made there would be sold in North America; a move which prompted the union to say that it believes Continental plans to cease tyre manufacturing in North America and shift the focus towards products such as belts and hoses.