Findlay Cooper Tire going to round-the-clock production

From News 11's news partner, Findlay Courier:

FINDLAY - Findlay Cooper Tire is not closing its doors, as some had feared in recent weeks. In fact, the plant will go to round-the-clock production.

Workers leaving their shift at the Findlay Cooper Tire & Rubber plant reported Wednesday morning that corporate officers told them the plant in Albany, Ga., will be closed.

Cooper, which is based in Findlay, had said it would conduct a capacity study to determine whether to close one of its four plants in the United States. It also has plants in Texarkana, Ark., and Tupelo, Miss.

Cooper told workers Wednesday that the three remaining plants would move to around-the-clock production, seven days a week and that staff may be added. The company said it would take 12 months to close the Albany factory, which employs 1,300.

On Dec. 10, Findlay employees ratified a contract that included $30 million in wage and benefit concessions, according to union local President Rod Nelson. United Steelworkers of America Local 207L voted 648-264 in favor of the three-year labor agreement with the hope that it would help keep the Findlay plant open.

The Findlay plant, with 1,100 workers, is one of the city's largest employers.

Also last week, members of the USW Local 752L at the Texarkana plant voted overwhelmingly to freeze wages and make concessions on health coverage and on their pension plan to try to keep the plant open. State officials from Arkansas and Texas have also gotten involved in trying to keep the plant running.

The Arkansas factory has more than 1,400 workers. The Mississippi plant employs 1,200 people.