On November 28 last year, just days after Thanksgiving, 1,050 Cooper Tire & Rubber Company employees were left out in the cold. After refusing to negotiate in good faith, Cooper Tire locked out workers at its Findlay, Ohio plant.
In 2008, when Cooper Tire was losing money, employees at its Findlay plant gave up $31 million in pay and benefits to help the company stay afloat. Thanks to their sacrifice, Cooper has made more than $300 million in profits since 2009. So what did Cooper executives do with their newfound profits? They paid themselves millions of dollars in bonuses and bought a new corporate jet. The company even purchased a brand new plant in Serbia for $17.3 million.
Despite soaring profits, Cooper pushed a new contract on its employees with higher healthcare premiums and undisclosed wage terms. Still, Cooper’s employees were more than willing to keep working through negotiations to reach a fair deal. But rather than responding in kind, Cooper executives locked out employees and brought in replacement workers.
Cooper wants to cry broke, but it’s greed – not need – driving the lockout. As Chico Ramirez, who has logged 25 years with the company, explains, “The thing that bothers us is that we gave them concessions to help them get back on their feet, and they are paying out bonuses instead of paying back the backbone of the company.”
The workers in Findlay, Ohio are counting on you! Click here to watch a powerful video about the lockout and then email Cooper Tire and demand an end to the lockout.