CHARLOTTE, N.C.-Members of United Steelworkers Local 850 at Continental General Tire's plant in Charlotte ratified a three-year labor agreement Sept. 20 by a vote of 746 to 429. The two parties narrowly averted a strike by reaching a tentative agreement just hours before the former contract expired-at midnight Sept. 17.
The new contract keeps the tire maker competitive while minimizing concessions from union members, according to Larry B. Murray, vice president and secretary of Local 850. Ninety-eight percent of the local's 1,550 members took no hourly wage reductions in the pact, he said.
Ross Bailey, vice president of human resources for Continental General, said company officials are elated with the agreement, which includes a revised work schedule and work rule changes intended to improve plant productivity and efficiency.
Airboss buys Mich. rubber molder
MISSISSAUGA, Ontario-Airboss of America Corp. has purchased Controlled Rubber Products Inc., a rubber molder with one plant in South Haven, Mich., for $3.3 million.
The Michigan firm, which molds rubber parts for railways and automakers, posted sales of about $7.5 million for the year, ended July 31.
Airboss announced late last year it was buying a U.S. molder but declined to reveal the firm's identity. The acquisition was completed Aug. 8.
The addition is expected to double Airboss' $7 million in annual sales and will be used to produce a series of new tire sizes, beginning with rear backhoe tires, Airboss said.
The Mississauga-based company manufactures segmented tires and previously purchased molded segments from a variety of suppliers, not including Controlled Rubber, said Brad Kipp, an Airboss controller.
``Since 95 percent of our business comes from the U.S., we'll also be making our products closer to the market,'' Mr. Kipp said. ``This will cause distribution costs to go down. Product costs also will be reduced because we'll be getting our segments from Controlled Rubber.''
Crain to launch 27 publication
DETROIT-Crain Communications Inc., which publishes TIRE BUSINESS, will launch a new publication in February targeted at European automotive industry executives and their suppliers.
Automotive News Europe, set to debut Feb. 5, 1996, will be based in London, with bureaus in France and Germany, and correspondents throughout Europe. Published every two weeks, it will be Crain's 27th publication and have an initial circulation of 18,000.
The editor of Automotive News Europe is Richard Johnson, 41, who has spent the past 11 years covering the auto industry in Europe and Asia for Detroit-based Automotive News, the world's leading auto industry publication, also published by Crain Communications.
Employees at Michelin North America's three tire plants in Nova Scotia rejected the latest attempt by the Canadian Auto Workers-the union's fourth such effort-to organize the facilities' work force. In results released Sept. 18, 72 percent of the workers voted against the union, Michelin said.
Bandag Inc. is offering its dealers the automated, turn-key Wheel & Rim Refinishing System manufactured by International Marketing Inc., under the IMI/Bandag name. The system accommodates 15- to 25-inch wheels and rims, IMI said.
The Hawkinson Companies have sold their 600th NDT non-destructive casing inspection machine to McGriff Treading Co. for use in its Cullman, Ala., plant. The machine is the eighth Hawkinson NDT machine McGriff has purchased since 1982, the manufacturer said.
Tech Inc., a Lenexa, Kan.-based distributor of Tech-brand tire repair materials in the western U.S., acquired United Tire Shop Supply in Eugene, Ore., for an undisclosed amount July 3.
The United Tire operation has been renamed United/Tech Supply Inc. and will continue to serve customers in southern and central Oregon. Vice President Randy Stout will continue to manage the operation.