Titan International Inc. has reached an agreement with the United Steelworkers (USW) in a civil Racketeering Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act case that began in September 2000.
The case was dismissed Feb. 1 in Springfield, Ill. Titan had filed its original $240 million suit in 2000 against the union, 130 individuals-including its highest-ranking officers and many members-several district officers and 100 ``John Doe'' defendants.
The lawsuit alleged that the USW and its members ``implemented a massive conspiracy to extort money'' and conspired ``to receive income from a pattern of racketeering activity'' against Titan.
The suit came on the heels of a bitter labor dispute between the two parties that ran from 1998-2001. In the suit, Titan alleged USW members made bomb threats, committed acts of physical violence and property damage, filed baseless workers' compensation claims and interfered with Titan's business relations.
The USW had called the lawsuit frivolous and alleged it was an act of retaliation against the union following the long strikes.
``This disagreement started with the strike on May 1, 1998, and it has been a real fight,'' said Maurice M. ``Morry'' Taylor Jr., Titan chairman and CEO. ``There's no question that both parties were putting a lot of passion and money into this lawsuit.''
He added that ``the future looks bright'' and ``working with the Steelworkers, we will be a force to reckon with. I can appreciate the Steelworkers are not used to a CEO like me, but our passions for the American worker bring us together. I believe everyone will be happy that we together put the swords down and are moving on.''