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Old-School Labor Brawl Erupts at Ohio Tire Plant [View All]

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alp227 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-07-11 09:45 PM
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Old-School Labor Brawl Erupts at Ohio Tire Plant
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Source: WSJ (Google title for full article)

Dozens of workers at Cooper Tire & Rubber Co. huddled around fire barrels outside the company's manufacturing plant here and jeered as temporary workers were bused in to do their jobs.

The scene this week has taken on the trappings of a 1960s battle: failed mediation, a lockout, sign-waving picketers, replacement workers and accusations flying on both sides. It is unusual at a time of high unemployment and labor peace in the auto industry.

The clash between Cooper and its 1,050 union workers may signal a return to a more combative tone in the America's industrial heartland as manufacturers look to lock in the wage cuts negotiated during the last recession and workers seek to recoup what they ceded.

Three years ago, as the company tried to dig out of a financial hole, Cooper workers represented by the United Steelworkers union agreed to forgo raises and accepted a two-tiered wage system that started new hires at lower wages. Now, with Cooper profitable again, the union has pushed for a return to a single wage rate for all workers and lower health-care costs.

Read more:

Cooper Tire workers picket outside the Findlay, Ohio, tire plant. (Jeff Bennett/WSJ)

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