Texarkana’s Cooper Tire Workers Approve New Four-Year Contract

Employees at Texarkana’s Cooper Tire and Rubber plant have successfully negotiated a new labor contract. After two weeks without an agreement, the tire company’s workforce has finally secured a four-year deal.

Since June 7, members of United Steel Workers Local 753 worked without a formal contract. On June 21, they voted overwhelmingly in favour of the new agreement. Kerry Halter, the union president, reported that 83% of workers approved the contract, while 17% opposed it.

Texarkana’s Cooper Tire Workers Approve New Four-Year Contract
Texarkana’s Cooper Tire Workers Approve New Four-Year Contract

Halter shared that the new contract includes raises for over 1,300 employees. Those who didn’t receive a direct raise will get lump-sum payments each year of the agreement. The raises are set at 4%. Unfortunately, the union did not succeed in eliminating tier jobs, which pay different wages for similar work.

Halter expressed determination to continue fighting against tier jobs, describing it as an ongoing battle. This contract negotiation was the first with the plant’s parent company, Goodyear.

During the negotiation period, union members never considered a strike. Halter emphasized that a work stoppage would harm both the community and union members, with no real winners in that scenario.

The Texarkana facility has about 1,500 employees, which makes it a major non-government employer in southwest Arkansas.

Looking ahead, Halter stated that their focus is on getting the plant fully operational again. The goal is to continue producing high-quality tires, a product the plant has been known for over many years.