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Armstrong Tire Expected to Close Plant

October 02, 1985|From Times Wire Services

HANFORD, Calif. — Officials of Armstrong Tire Co.'s plant here said Tuesday that they expect the company to issue an order today to close the plant--the firm's only West Coast manufacturing facility--causing the loss of some 600 jobs.

The gloomy prediction came on the heels of Monday's announcement that rubber union workers at Armstrong plants in Iowa, Tennessee, Mississippi and Connecticut rejected a wage-cut proposal for the Hanford plant workers that would have enabled the company to keep the plant open.

The union and management at the plant worked out the wage-cut plan for plant workers, and management workers agreed to take a similar pay cut in an effort to save enough money to convince Armstrong officials to keep the plant open. But the plan was rejected by union workers at Armstrong plants in the other states.

After International Rubber Workers Union members at the other plants rejected the $2.50-per-hour wage cut for Hanford workers Monday, Armstrong President Paul James issued a terse statement: "We had hoped for support from the other locals. That support was not forthcoming."

Harold Hoppert, industrial relations manager at the Hanford plant, said he believes that the company will issue the shutdown order for the plant today or Thursday.

Armstrong officials said a declining market for replacement automobile tires, huge utility bills and the high cost of transporting raw materials to the Hanford plant pushed operating costs well into the red.

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