USW takes aim at Cooper's Tupelo plant

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By Chris Sweeney, Crain News Service

TUPELO, Miss. (Sept. 24, 2013) — The United Steelworkers (USW) has held meetings with employees at Cooper Tire & Rubber Co.'s plant in Tupelo in an attempt to unionize the 1,300 worker plant.

Cooper officials said they are aware of the USW's efforts, and that while employees at the Tupelo plant have a right to decide if a union is right for them, they said that Cooper has a similar right to express to its employees that it does not believe a union is in the best interests of the work force.

The company said it greatly values the contributions of the Tupelo employees and that their performance has made the plant a role model for other facilities. The company also highlighted the factory's "outstanding safety record."

Cooper said it always has been able to work directly and successfully with its employees in Tupelo without interference of a third party.

The company's other tire plants in Findlay, Ohio, and Texarkana, Ark., are both unionized and represented by the USW.

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This report appeared in Rubber & Plastics News, an Akron-based sister publication of Tire Business.

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