DES MOINES, Iowa (Aug. 24, 2001)—Titan International Inc. said it will end negotiations with the striking United Steelworkers of America local at its Des Moines farm tire plant if an agreement isn't reached by Sept. 1, according to an Aug. 23 report in the Des Moines Register. Titan and USWA Local 164 have been bargaining since the week of July 30, reaching tentative agreement on many issues but not a back-to-work settlement. The main point of contention in the deal is whether a union member fired during the strike for breaking Titan work rules should be allowed back in the plant, company President and CEO Maurice Taylor Jr. said in the report.
If there is no pact with the union, Titan would implement a six-year proposal offer under which replacement workers hired during the strike would operate the facility, the report said. In response to Titan's announcement, Local 164 President John Peno sent a letter to the company Aug. 23 saying the union doesn't consider talks at an impasse and wants to resolve the outstanding issues. Mr. Peno also said implementing a proposal at this stage would be unlawful under the National Labor Relations Act.