PITTSBURGH (WIFR) -- The United Steelworkers (USW) said that workers at three Titan International, Inc. tire plants ratified new contracts this week.
The members of USW Local 745 in Freeport, USW Local 164 in Des Moines, and USW Local 890 in Bryan, Ohio each approved four-year agreements, which include wage and benefit improvements and a variety of contract language enhancements, most notably around the issue of forced overtime.
USW District 7 Director Jim Robinson, who chairs the union's negotiations with Titan, said that the union believes it reached a fair contract despite the challenge of negotiating while the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) is caught up in a political dispute between the U.S. Senate and President Obama.
"For a variety of reasons, these were difficult negotiations," said Robinson. "We were able to address important issues at all three locations and satisfied a majority of the men and women whose unity and solidarity never wavered throughout the process."
Robinson noted that Steelworks at the Freeport and Bryan facilities spent the last two years dealing with problems created by Titan's implementation of a "last, best, and final" contract, which led the union to file charges with the NRLB. Those charges were settled as part of the new agreements between Titan and the USW.
The USW is North America's largest industrial union, representing 850,000 workers in metals, mining, pulp and paper, rubber, chemicals, glass, auto supply and the energy producing industries.