Goodyear completes acquisition of Cooper Tire
Employees’ jobs and operations at the Texarkana plant are safe for now, union representative says
TEXARKANA, Ark. (KSLA) - The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. announced Monday, June 7 that it has acquired Cooper Tire & Rubber Co., which is the largest non-governmental employer in the Texarkana, Ark., area.
The merger that was announced Feb. 22 “... unites two leading tire companies with complementary product portfolios, services and capabilities to create a stronger U.S.-based leader in the global tire industry,” reads a news release from Goodyear.
“The combined company will offer more options across the value spectrum, making it easier for customers and consumers to choose Goodyear- and Cooper-branded tires.”
Employees at the Cooper Tire & Rubber manufacturing and distribution facility in Texarkana received pamphlets Monday morning notifying them that the merger with Goodyear Tire & Rubber has been completed.
“It makes employees nervous,” said Kerry Halter, president of the United Steelworkers local that represents about 1,500 workers at the plant. For now, their jobs and operations at the plant are safe, Halter added.
“With the collective bargaining agreement we have in place right now, they will have to honor that contract for the next three years from the date of change of control. With the product mix that we make here at this plant, we are in a good position to be a partnership with Goodyear.”
The Cooper Tire & Rubber Co. plant that has been operating in Texarkana since 1964 now is amid a $44 million expansion project. Halter believes that is a good sign that the facility will remain a viable part of the local economy.
“They see what the work force is here in Texarkana; and they are willing to invest in the future of this plant. “We believe Goodyear is going to do the same thing with the same vision.”
Texarkana city officials said they have been in contact with Cooper Tire & Rubber Co. leaders during the merger process.
And Mayor Allen Brown said the future continues to look bright for the Texarkana plant. “Certainly the city is very interested because Cooper being the largest employer in our area. And we know how many families and what they do for our local economy. So we are not anticipating any changes.”
The full news release from Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. can be viewed below:
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