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Report: Cooper Tire protest in China is over

It’s  appears the strike by some 5,000 workers at Cooper Tire’s joint venture plant in Rongcheng, China is over. Previous coverage here.

From the Economic Times of India, we have this: 

The American tyre maker has clarified that production employees at its facility in China have returned to the factory and the protest is over.

In an email reply, Cooper Tire & Rubber Company vice president Communications & Public Affairs Anne Roman told ET, “Cooper continues to work toward getting the plant operating fully again as soon as possible, including the production of all tyre brands, and we look forward to continued communications with the workers and their representatives.”

(S)he added that all other Cooper facilities in China, and other parts of the world continue to operate as normal.

Workers at the plant began protesting last month, not long after Indian-owned Apollo Tyres announced it was planning to acquire Findlay, Ohio-based Cooper Tire in an all-cash deal worth $2.2 billion. Company officials said the total value of the deal is worth closer to $2.5 billion.

In any case, Apollo says Cooper’s problems with its Chengshan plant are its American counterpart’s problem for now. This, also from the Economic Times story:

“As the joint venture remains part of Cooper’s operations until the deal legally closes, Apollo recognises that Cooper is working to resolve the issues with Cooper’s facility in Rongcheng, China. It is not accurate to say that the Chinese are trying to derail the transaction. This is a matter between two companies, Cooper Tire and Rubber and its joint venture partner in China. Until the transaction is legally closed, the joint venture remains part of Cooper’s operations,” the company spokesperson said.

While Cooper and Apollo both insist that the strike will not derail their deal, which they expect to complete in next few months, the Indian company added that significant amount of information has been made available to the management teams of Cooper’s global operations, including translations in Chinese to dispel any future concerns.

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