·  USW

USW Files NLRB Charges against Cooper Tire

CONTACT: Wayne Ranick (412) 562-2444
               Tony Montana (216) 308-4798

(Pittsburgh) – The United Steelworkers (USW) International and its Local 207L today filed charges with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) against Cooper Tire alleging the company committed unfair labor practices in bargaining and imposing a lockout at its Findlay, Ohio tire plant. 

Cooper locked out 1,051 members of USW Local 207L on Nov. 29, 2011 at its profitable Findlay facility, despite the union’s good faith offer to keep working while negotiations toward a new labor contract proceeded.

The USW said that the centerpiece to the charges is the company’s demand that bargaining unit members ratify a contract absent the full details of an incentive plan that could possibly result in major wage cuts. Cooper insisted that its incomplete proposal would have to be accepted, ratified and implemented before necessary studies would be finalized. That meant workers would vote on a proposal not knowing if their wages were increasing or decreasing and by what amounts.

In total, the USW alleges some ten charges. They include refusing to bargain by conditioning continuation of talks on the union moving from its current negotiating position; falsely declaring impasse; disparaging the International union in meetings with bargaining unit members; and unilaterally changing conditions of employment by canceling scheduled work and extending the Thanksgiving holiday shutdown until the lockout began on Nov. 29.

The unfair practices also include the lockout itself and its continuation in support of a bargaining position tainted by the illegal labor practices cited in the charges.

The USW represents about 850,000 working men and women in the United States and Canada in a wide variety of industries, ranging from glass making to mining, paper, steel, tire and rubber and other manufacturing environments to the public sector, service and health care industries.

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