USW deal over Cooper plants reached, says source

The United Steelworkers union has reached an agreement with Cooper Tire & Rubber regarding labour contracts at Cooper’s Findlay, Ohio and Texarkana, Arkansas plants. Financial website The Street wrote on 12 December that “a source close to the matter” said the USW has “worked out tentative agreements with Cooper based on potential outcomes.” Should Apollo acquire Cooper’s holdings, part of the deal would include the agreements’ acceptance on the terms now being laid out, the publication added. An agency representing Cooper Tire gave Tyres & Accessories confirmation today that the agreement has been ratified by USW members.

The Street writes that the talks between the USW and Cooper Tire post-date the arbitration ruling made by the Delaware Chancery Court and subsequent filings, and it reports its source as saying the union retains concerns about the debt associated with the Apollo acquisition deal and its effect on Cooper’s long-term viability and its workforce.

So far, no official confirmation of any agreement between Cooper and the USW has been announced. As for Apollo, on 12 December another financial website, Seeking Alpha, reported on a new court filing in which Cooper Tire & Rubber said Apollo Tyres still doesn’t have an agreement in place with the USW. In this same filing, the tyre maker also stated it didn’t know for sure when its third quarter financials will be finished “due to issues it can’t control,” added Seeking Alpha.

Cooper’s appeal against the ruling made by Delaware Chancery Court in November is scheduled to be heard by the Delaware Supreme Court on 19 December.

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