Tentative Settlement Reached in More Than Three-Year Strike Against Titan Tire

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Union steelworkers on strike against Titan Tire for more than three years announced a tentative settlement Friday that would allow all striking workers to return to their jobs.

"We have been working very hard in the last couple, three weeks to get this thing done ..." said John Peno, president of Local 164 of the United Steelworkers Union. "We both did some compromising and we're certainly glad we could reach an agreement."

He said a ratification vote was scheduled for Sept. 18.

About 670 steelworkers walked off the job May 1, 1998, after Titan International chief executive Maurice "Morry" Taylor Jr. presented what he said was the company's last best offer.

On Sept. 18, 1998, the National Labor Relations Board filed an unfair labor practices complaint, accusing the company of prolonging the strike.

The ratification vote will be held precisely three years from that date.

A phone message left at Titan International offices in Quincy, Ill., late Friday was not immediately returned.

Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, issued a statement congratulating workers "who have stuck together, for more than three years, in fighting for a fair solution to this dispute."

Titan International, parent company of Titan Tire Corp., is a global supplier of wheels and tires for equipment used in agriculture, construction, mining, the military, recreation and grounds care. The Des Moines plant is Titan's largest tire plant.