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Steelworkers Ratify Agreement With Cooper Tire, Ending Lockout

PITTSBURGH, Feb. 27, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The United Steelworkers (USW) today said that members of Local 207L have ratified a five-year contract with Cooper Tire and Rubber Company (NYSE:CTB), ending a three-month lockout at the company's Findlay, Ohio tire plant.

(Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20080131/DC12982LOGO)

The new contract was ratified with approximately 66% of the 948 ballots cast.

"Our brothers and sisters have once again made their voices heard," said USW Local 207L President Rodney Nelson. "As a committee, we are proud to have remained united and delivered a fair contract, despite Cooper's best attempts to divide us."

USW District 1 Director Dave McCall praised the members of Local 207L for their solidarity and determination after being illegally locked out by Cooper on Nov. 28, 2011, despite the union's good faith offer to continue working under the terms of the previous agreement while negotiations toward a new one proceeded.

"Cooper needs to acknowledge that its loyal, productive and efficient USW workforce is the company's most valuable asset in Findlay and treat them with the respect and dignity they have earned," McCall said. "For many years, Cooper was a good example of how workers and management could work together toward common goals and the greater good of the community."

McCall said that the company's standing has undeniably changed and that the union's battle for justice in Findlay has not ended.

"Breaking federal labor laws, importing a temporary replacement workforce and demanding unfair and unreasonable wage and benefit cuts instead of negotiating in good faith are not the actions of a responsible corporate citizen," McCall said.

The USW filed unfair labor practice charges against Cooper with Region 8 of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) shortly after the lockout began that if upheld may trigger a back pay liability for the time the NLRB determines the lockout illegal.

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