Ohio's senior United States Senator Sherrod Brown met with locked-out Cooper Tire workers in Findlay Monday afternoon. Over 1,000 workers have been locked out by Cooper Tire management since late November shortly after the United Steelworkers Local 207 rejected a contract offer from the company. Sen. Brown says he would like to see negotiations resume and workers back on the job. "I want these workers to get a chance to go back to work and I am hopeful that the company will negotiate because these are good middle class jobs with good middle class wages," Sen. Brown said.
Chris Jones, a five year veteran of Cooper Tire, says the one month long lock out has been a burden. "It's been rough especially when they fought the unemployment and we went a month without having any money; Christmas wasn't the greatest," Mr. Jones said.
Since locking out unionized workers Cooper Tire has been operating with replacement workers. The locked out workers have been picketing outside the plant on a round the clock basis. No date has been set for new contract talks.