Brown visits Cooper Tire employees

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Brown visits Cooper Tire employees

Findlay Courier – U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown spoke to locked-out Cooper Tire & Rubber Co. employees Monday, offering his help to end the contract dispute and expressing concern about the shrinking middle class.

Brown, D-Ohio, visited the United Steelworkers Local 207L Hall, 1130 Summit St., and spoke for about 20 minutes before meeting with individual workers.

Cooper locked out more than 1,000 unionized Findlay workers on Nov. 28, a day after union members voted down a proposed labor contract.

Negotiations between the union and Cooper Tire officials are scheduled to resume late next week, Local 207L President Rod Nelson said.

Brown said he hopes to help end the lockout by brainstorming with union members and showing a willingness to talk to Cooper management.

“People are eager to return to work,” he said.

During his talk, Brown also cited the negative impact of an international market. Companies have become more willing to move overseas, destroying local jobs, he said.

China, with its manipulation of currency and low wages, also tilts the playing field in its favor, Brown said.

That makes life much more difficult for middle-class workers in America, Brown said.

“It’s clear the Chinese aren’t playing fair,” he said. A tariff on Chinese-produced tires expires in September.

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