CHARLOTTE, N.C.—Continental General Tire Inc. presented its ``last, best and final'' offer to striking Steelworkers at its Charlotte radial passenger tire plant Jan. 18, but the union says it is unacceptable. The proposal came on the heels of an offer made by the United Steelworkers of America Local 850 on Jan. 13. The company offer includes raises in wages and pension benefits that exceed or match those of its previous offers, but the union believes they're still behind the competition's workers. Local 850's 1,450 members went on strike Sept. 20.
Conti General's most recent six-year proposal offered a 25-cent wage increase after it implements a new four-crew working schedule, a 25-cent raise June 5, 2000, and another 25-cent raise Jan. 7, 2002.
It also included a $38 per month per year of service pension multiplier which was equal to its original offer yet more than its recent proposal of $32.
The union's offer proposed a 45-cent wage raise immediately after ratification, a 30-cent raise on April 1, 2001, and another 30-cent raise Jan. 1, 2003.
Conti General currently is operating the plant with nearly 600 replacement workers.