End of strike would benefit entire area

Published 12:00 am Thursday, August 9, 2001

After nearly three years of bickering and feuding, the United Steelworkers of America and Titan Tire sat together at a bargaining table this week.

And while as of late Thursday nothing official had come from the discussions, it remains a sign of progress.

Steelworkers have been on strike against Titan’s Natchez tire plant since September 1998.

It’s the first time both sides have talked in earnest for more than two years. And it’s long overdue.

Regardless of which side of the union-company fence one’s feet rest, the strike helps no one and stands to hurt many.

Since the strike’s inception, the company has all but closed the Natchez plant drastically scaling back the number of employees – in large part due to poor market conditions, company officials say.

But the continuation of the strike stands to hurt more than the company or its employees – both union and non-union.

Regardless of whether the plant is busy and full staff or not, each day the strike continues the Miss-Lou struggles with the stigma of having an ongoing labor strike.

What business owner wouldn’t feel a bit uneasy of relocating a factory here while the strike continues?

Our area has many hurdles to jump in order to reach success on the economic development front, ending the strike will remove one of those hurdles.

We urge both sides to leave their egos at home, use good judgment and common sense.

With some luck, union members and company officials can reach a peaceable agreement, and put the strike into the history books.