FINDLAY, OH—U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) visited with locked out Cooper Tire workers at the United Steelworkers Local 207L hall in Findlay today. The employees have been locked out for more than a month.
“Cooper Tire is vital to the Findlay community. I remain optimistic that company management will continue to work with these hardworking men and women so that they can return to the shop floor as soon as possible,” Brown said. “These workers have faced uncertainty and weeks without company pay throughout the holiday season. A New Year signals an opportunity to start fresh—and I hope that the company and the union will be able to work together to achieve a fair agreement that will bring the devoted employees back to work.”
In June 2009, Brown testified before the ITC in support of rubber tire workers in Findlay who were being undermined a flood of Chinese imports dumped into the U.S. Following his testimony, the ITC ruled on behalf of tire workers, and President Obama announced that he would enforce "Section 421" trade safeguards that protect American manufacturers from excessive imports. After the ruling, Cooper Tire & Rubber Company announced plans to add capacity to its Findlay tire plant; Brown visited with Cooper Tire workers last summer to celebrate the expansion.
In November, following a phone call made to Cooper Tire and Rubber Company CEO Roy Armes, Brown urged the company to work with employees to reach a resolution that will return more than 1,000 workers to the assembly line in Findlay. A copy of the letter Brown sent to Cooper Tire is below.
Mr. Roy Armes
Chief Executive Officer
Cooper Tire and Rubber Company
701 Lima Avenue
Findlay, OH 45840
Dear Mr. Armes:
Thank you for speaking with me yesterday regarding the lockout of more than 1,000 workers at Cooper Tire and Rubber’s plant in Findlay, Ohio.
As we discussed, it is vital that labor and management reach a fair agreement that ensures production in Findlay remains at its highest levels. As you know, this process can only be successful when both parties bargain in a fair and reasonable manner. Concerted and continuing efforts to reach a fair and equitable agreement will benefit the company, the workers, and the entire Findlay community.
Both the management team and the devoted workers have helped make the Cooper Tire and Rubber brand a household icon. They have worked hard and sacrificed to ensure that the company meets the highest levels of productivity, efficiency, and quality. I am confident that your workforce is anxious to return to the jobs they have performed so well, for so many years. It is in this spirit that I ask you to work diligently with the United Steelworkers to reach a fair agreement that will allow the workers to return to their jobs.
I have been honored to work with the Findlay employees in their efforts to keep the facility open, in part by ensuring a level playing field for American tire workers and manufacturers. I urge you to continue dialogue with these workers to ensure a timely resolution to this matter. Failure to do so could result in devastating financial setbacks for workers and their families.
Please don’t hesitate to contact me if there are any ways my office can be of assistance. I stand ready to help the Cooper Tire and Rubber Company grow in Ohio.