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Continental Tire Relocating 300 Jobs to SC

Jeremy Sprinkle
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Yet more welfare for an undeserving corporation

Once the employer of 1,450 workers in NC, many of them union members of USW Local 850, Continental Tire (CTNA) in recent years has all but ceased production here, choosing to open shop in Brazil. In moving its North American headquarters to Lancaster, SC, the tire maker would complete the process of abandoning Charlotte, Mecklenberg county and our state.

The company has yet to fulfill its obligations to employees and retirees under their collective bargaining agreement, and many hundreds of those who have lost their livelihoods live in Lancaster county or elsewhere in SC. Unemployment in Lancaster is now at 10.9%, the highest in the state.

Sadly, the failure of CTNA to keep covenant with its workers apparently isn't enough to dissuade state and local government in SC from extending possibly millions of dollars in corporate welfare to relocate 300 white collar jobs across the state line.

In an article in the Charlotte Observer, a company spokesman believes it can get a sweet deal from the tax payers, especially in desperate Lancaster county:

"South Carolina does have a very proactive business climate," said Continental spokesman Rick Holcomb.

The article continues:

The company has been offered incentives from the county and the state to relocate. The state would not release details about the incentives it offered because it says it has a year to finalize them with the company.

The Lancaster County Council, though, will vote on an incentive package that would freeze Continental's property fees at 6 percent in lieu of taxes and would offer a 95 percent property tax rebate the first year and a 65 percent rebate the second year -- about $200,000, said Keith Tunnell, president of the Lancaster County Economic Development Corporation.

It is time to stop giving tax breaks and other welfare to corporations that break their promises to American employees, ship their jobs overseas, and extort the very state and local governments left holding the ball with false hope and empty promises.

Below is a list of Lancaster county government officials who no doubt will be deciding on those incentives and their contact information: