From The News and Observer
FINDLAY, OH — A federal judge in Indiana has halted Cooper Tire and Rubber Co.’s $1.2 billion sale of its automotive parts business until an arbitrator hears issues raised in a lawsuit filed by a union.
The United Steelworkers of America said in a September lawsuit that its labor contract gives it the right to negotiate with potential buyers before the division is sold.
On Tuesday, U.S. District Judge Theresa Springmann ordered an arbitrator to hear the union’s grievances and said it should be done quickly.
Debra Crow, a spokeswoman for Findlay, Ohio-based Cooper Tire, said the company plans to appeal. She said the sales agreement maintained existing union arrangements and contractual agreements.
The Cypress Group, a New York-based equity group, and Goldman Sachs Capital Partners joined to buy Cooper-Standard Automotive, based in Novi, Mich. The deal was announced in September.
The Steelworkers union represents about 1,500 workers at four plants: two in Bowling Green and one each in Auburn, Ind., and El Dorado, Ark.
Copyright 2004 The News & Observer. All Rights Reserved.
Click here to view the rest of today’s headlines.