Charlotte, North Carolina)--Continental Tire North America Inc. has enhanced a severance package for laid-off union workers in Mayfield, Kentucky, as part of continuing negotiations with the United Steelworkers.
Conti suspended tyre production indefinitely at Mayfield in late 2004. The new proposal, offered by Conti on Aug. 11 for hourly employees from the plant, would provide lump-sum payments of up to $15,000 based on years of service plus an additional $2,500 for health care expenses. The proposal also includes an early retirement supplement of $340 per month for certain employees with at least 28 years of experience.
"It is Continental Tire's goal to assist all our laid-off employees by providing them with enhanced severance benefits over and above the benefits provided in the labour agreement," said Rick Ledsinger, vice president of human resources. "We understand that it has not been easy for many of them to find jobs in the Mayfield area, and we are addressing these difficulties by significantly increasing lump sum payments to the laid-off employees."
Union officials have not agreed to all points of Conti's proposal, but the tyre maker said it views the negotiations as positive.
"At this point, the only major issue remaining open is pension eligibility," Ledsinger said.
No date has been set for talks to continue, Conti said.