USW raatifies Cooper contract, virus shuts down plant

FINDLAY, Ohio — No sooner had Cooper Tire & Rubber Company confirmed Saturday that it had reached a four-year labor agreement with the United Steelworkers (USW) Local 207 in Findlay, that the company announced it will temporarily shut down its tire manufacturing facilities in the United States and Mexico to protect the health and safety of employees and respond to market demand that has been impacted by coronavirus.

The process of phasing down production at the plants began Saturday and will proceed on a rolling schedule over the coming week, with facilities expected to be closed for two to three weeks. The company is currently assessing plans for its Europe operations. Cooper’s plants in China, which reopened several weeks ago, and have continued to ramp up production, remain in operation.

The Findlay labor agreement covers approximately 800 USW members, according to Brian Brubaker, president of USW Local 207L. Details were not released.

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