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Texarkana's Cooper Tire & Rubber Co., employees will not experience a lot of changes with Goodyear's acquisition of Cooper's holdings, said Kerry Halter, president of United Steel Workers Local 752L.

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"What that means for us locally is in our collective bargaining agreement, we have successorship language, which means they (Goodyear) will honor our collective bargain agreement," he told the Gazette Monday morning.

There is a three-year extension clause in the contract, meaning there are some fringe benefits and defined benefit increases employees will receive.

For instance, a bonus will be paid to all active employees within 90 days of signing the successorship language. As a result, Goodyear will be required to pay $1,000 per employee for every year of the three-year extension.

Goodyear and Cooper joining forces complements the strengths and emphasis of each company, giving an overall, better rounded presence in both the original equipment and replacement tire markets.

Goodyear supplies several manufacturers with original equipment tires, or tires on newly purchased vehicles, Halter said. In contrast, Cooper has a limited number of manufacturers they supply with original equipment tires.

Cooper's "bread and butter" is the replacement tire market with good quality in those offerings, Halter said.

"Cooper has a very large footprint in the replacement tire marketWe do very well when it comes to that," Halter said.

Of Cooper's three U.S.-based plants, Halter said Texarkana's has the largest number of employees with more than 1,500.

Cooper's other U.S. plants are in Findlay, Ohio, which is the corporate headquarters, and Tupelo, Mississippi.

"It does raise some red flags anytime anyone purchases another companybut we have the union to protect our facility," he said.

It will be the latter part of 2024 before negotiations occur for a new contract, Halter said.

There had been "no buzz" about Goodyear's acquisition of Cooper, Halter said, as he only learned of it early Monday morning.

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