ATHENS, Ga.-Oliver Rubber Co. has completed its new 6,000-sq.-ft. technical center and research and development department in Athens. The new technical headquarters replaces Oliver's Asheboro, N.C., training and Oakland, Calif., R & D centers.
The new facility, which simulates an Oliver Tuff-Cure Elite shop with advanced equipment, will house Oliver's Tuff-Cure retread training classes for its licensed retreaders.
BFS sued by URW over retiree binefits
NASHVILLE, Tenn.-The United Rubber Workers has filed a class-action suit against Bridgestone/Firestone Inc. for unilaterally reducing the health benefits of about 20,000 retirees.
Since union workers struck the company in July, BFS has hiked retirees' drug co-payment costs while lowering what it pays for their Medicare premiums.
The union filed the suit, which seeks to reinstate the benefits, March 30 in federal court in Nashville. A hearing date will not be set for at least a month.
Union workers vote to strike Titan Tire
DES MOINES, Iowa-As this issue went to press April 12, union workers were scheduled to strike Titan Tire Corp.'s Des Moines farm tire plant April 18 after rejecting the company's contract offer by a vote of 263-157.
Earl Seymour, president of URW Local 164 , said the major sticking points were wages, unfreezing the pension fund and medical benefits for retirees.
Talks were continuing, but management said the company ``has offered everything it will.''
Nokia Tyres alters name to go public
NOKIA, Finland-Finnish tire maker Nokia Tyres Ltd., which hopes to go public by offering stock on the Helsinki exchange, has added an ``N'' to its name to become Nokian Tyres Ltd.
The purpose of the March 17 name change was to differentiate the Nokia-based tire maker from its parent company-Nokia Corp., an international manufacturer of cellular telephones, television sets and other electronic equipment.
Once the parent company's 80-percent equity has been sold, Nokian Tyres will become totally independent of Nokia Corp.
Aquatred/Aquagrip copyright case settled
KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia-Goodyear has settled its copyright dispute with Silverstone Tire & Rubber Co. of Malaysia whereby, under a consent judgment, Silverstone has ceased production of its Aquagrip tire.
Goodyear sued Silverstone in 1993, alleging copyright infringe-ment based on the resemblance between the Silverstone Aquagrip and the Goodyear Aquatred tires. Terms of the settlement were not disclosed.
NTDRA urges proper use of highway funds
WASHINGTON-In a letter to the U.S. House Committee on Transportation and Infra-structure, the National Tire Dealers & Retreaders Association voiced its opposition to what it considers to be manipulation of the Highway Trust Fund in President Clinton's 1996 Depart-ment of Transportation Budget.
NTDRA Executive Vice Presi-dent Phil Friedlander Jr. noted in the letter to Committee Chairman Bud Shuster that only 34 percent of the $22.9 billion paid into the 1996 fund will be used for construction and maintenance.
``Letting the Highway Trust Fund surplus increase to mask higher levels of spending in other areas is budgetary sleight of hand of the worst kind,'' he said.
Regul brand marks 20 millionth tire
GREENVILLE, S.C.-The J.H. Heafner Co. and its Regul Tire & Rubber Co., which has marketed the Regul brand tire since 1974, purchased its 20-millionth Regul tire from Michelin Americas Small Tires this year.