SPRINGFIELD, Ill (Nov. 9, 2001)—A racketeering lawsuit filed more than a year ago against the United Steelworkers union by Titan International Inc.—and thought to be dropped with the settlement of strikes at the company's tire plants—may be moving forward instead.
Maurice Taylor Jr., Titan CEO and president, said he plans to proceed with the suit, which claims there was an "ongoing pattern of criminal racketeering activities" during long strikes at the company's Des Moines, Iowa, and Natchez, Miss., tire facilities.
The original $240 million suit—filed in September 2000 in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of Illinois in Springfield—was brought against the USWA; several of its district offices; 130 individuals, including its now-former president, officers and many members; and 100 "John Doe" defendants.
The suit was to be dropped as the result of the settlement of the two strikes, as were other legal actions taken during the labor dispute. But Mr. Taylor said he was going to proceed based on two factors: the lack of a new contract in Natchez and the denial of the defendants' motions to dismiss the claims against them.