Titan and union still at odds

Published 12:00 am Sunday, August 12, 2001

Negotiations between officials of Titan and United Steelworkers of America recessed Saturday afternoon in Des Moines, Iowa, without resolving contracts or back-to-work agreements for either Titan’s Des Moines plant or its Natchez plant, a union official said Saturday.

&uot;We’re going home for the weekend, and then it’s up to Titan to call us and tell us when they want to meet again,&uot; said Leo &uot;T-Bone&uot; Bradley, president of Steelworkers Local 303L. &uot;Nothing’s been resolved.&uot;

But Morry Taylor, chief executive officer of Titan Tire, said that while negotiations regarding the Natchez plant have not yet started, a contract has already been agreed to for the Des Moines plant.

Email newsletter signup

Contrary to union reports, Taylor said Saturday, &uot;the contract’s done – finished. The back-to-work agreement is what we’re working on now.&uot;

And because such an agreement hasn’t been reached, the union can’t vote on the contract, &uot;so that’s what’s holding it up,&uot; Taylor said. &uot;The ball’s in the union’s court, and it has been since last Wednesday.&uot;

One sticking point in the Des Moines negotiations has been the issue of rehiring strikers laid off from that plant, Taylor said. &uot;They (union officials) don’t understand that when a line’s drawn in the sand, you don’t cross it,&uot; he said.

Local 303L has been on strike from Titan’s Natchez plant since September 1998; Des Moines Local 164 has been on strike for 39 months.