Reports: Cooper Chengshan strike over Apollo acquisition
Workers at Cooper Chengshan, a joint-venture between Cooper Tire & Rubber Company (USA) and Chengshan Group (China), are reportedly on a strike in protest against Apollo’s proposed acquisition of Cooper. If correct the reports could throw up a fairly significant spanner in the works as the trade union which represents workers at what is deemed to be “the largest, most profitable and fastest-growing factory of the eight” plants that come as part of the Cooper deal, Cooper Chengshan, have expressed their opposition to the deal.
According to the Chinese Economic Observer newspaper, on 27 June six representatives of the trade union met Hal Miller, president of Cooper’s International Tire Division to air their concerns. At first glance the union representatives and workers appear pretty intransigent as they reportedly said “the one and only condition under which they would return to work was if the acquisition was halted.”
There are believed to be three main reasons for the union’s opposition to the deal: the risk of what they deem “excessive” debt, which would make the factory financially vulnerable to potential market decline; cultural differences between Chinese and Indian businesses, which are seen as a step too far following the “huge price” of adjustment to the American style of management; and thirdly Apollo has been warned that “ignoring the concerns of the union the parties were breaking Chinese law”. Nevertheless there has not been any indication that the deal has slowed down or is faltering.
Tyres & Accessories has contacted Apollo Tyres representatives for comment.