Titan, United Steelworkers ink four-year contract; 300 to be hired at tire factories

Posted: Mar. 18, 2013 5:32 pm Updated: Apr. 8, 2013 5:48 pm

Titan International, Inc. (NYSE: TWI) has a new four-year contract with the United Steelworkers working at factories in Des Moines, Iowa, Freeport, Ill., and Bryan, Ohio.

"This is a good contract for Titan employees and shareholders. Bryan and Freeport have been working without a contract for the past two years," Maurice Taylor, Titan International's CEO and chairman, said in a press release.

The new contract gives workers a 6 percent increase spread over four years. None of the annual wage increases is more than 2 percent in a given year. Titan will add about 300 workers to increase the output of tires in the near future, Taylor said.

"I believe the Steelworkers have a better understanding today on how Titan needs to use its unionized work force for the benefit of its employees as well as shareholders. Without profit, there are no jobs," Taylor said.

He added this will be the last contract he negotiates with the union. Taylor said Jim Robinson, director of the Steelworkers Union, also may say the same thing about his final contract talks with Titan.

Robinson started his career in a steel factory working in maintenance. While working at the steel company, he went on to become a lawyer for the union.

"Our views on politics are about 180 degrees apart, but when it comes to the working men and women, we share similar views. Everyone at Titan is looking to increase output, improve quality and on time delivery to our customers," Taylor said.