BRYAN, Ohio (June 16, 2005) – The fate of German OTR retreader R"sler Group's bid to buy Continental Tire North America (CTNA) Inc.'s Bryan OTR tire plant depends largely on the outcome of contract talks June 16-17 in Bryan involving representatives of R"sler and United Steelworkers (USW) Local 890L.
Paul G. R"sler, director of the Dortmund, Germany-based R"sler Group, said recently reaching terms with the union would be the make-or-break element of the deal.
R"sler Group is seeking more flexible work rules from the USW in order to justify making investments in radial building equipment, but Mr. R"sler said the union had indicated its resistance to work-rule changes, as well as asking for more generous pension and other benefits.
Mr. R"sler estimated the 38-year-old Bryan plant would need $10 million in new equipment to boost radial production and make the unit competitive. The USW represents 257 of the plant's 312 workers.
CTNA earlier this month disclosed a deal to sell the 38-year-old Bryan plant to the family-owned and –operated R"sler Group. The company's pending sale of the Bryan OTR facility is expected to conclude July 31 or within 14 days thereafter, according to CTNA.