Cooper Tire & Rubber Co. has reached an agreement with the United Steelworkers of America (USWA) that will end the injunction on the sale of four Cooper-Standard Automotive plants.
On Sept. 17, Cooper announced an agreement to sell its automotive subsidiary for $1.17 billion to a group formed by Cypress Group and Goldman Sachs Capital Partners. But the U.S. District Court in Indiana granted an injunction Nov. 2 after the union filed a complaint, arguing it had a right-called a successor provision in its contract-to negotiate new labor agreements with the buyer before a sale of the four unionized facilities.
The USWA had raised pension and medical liability questions.
Of those plants, two are in Bowling Green, Ohio, one in Auburn, Ind., and another in El Dorado, Ark. About 1,500 employees are affected by the sale.
The settlement agreement announced Dec. 1 will dissolve the injunction as well as dismiss an appeal to the U.S. 7th Circuit Court of Appeals.
``I am pleased that the talks with the Steelworkers have produced an expedited and favorable conclusion,'' said Thomas Dattilo, Cooper's chairman, CEO and president.
The Findlay-based tire maker did not release specific terms of the agreement. Cooper expects the deal with Cypress/Goldman Sachs to close before year-end.
Cooper-Standard makes vibration control products; rubber door seals; trunks, windows and hoods; and hoses to transport fluids, fuels and gases. The company is ranked No. 39 by Automotive News, a sister publication of Tire Business, on a list of the top 150 suppliers to the North American auto industry, with North American original-equipment automotive parts sales of $1.24 billion in 2003.