Rubber Manufacturers Association to Restructure

Tire, Elastomer Products Group (EPG) to Become Separate Organizations

For more information contact:
Dan Zielinski
(202) 682-4846

WASHINGTON, D.C.May 19, 2010 – The Rubber Manufacturers Association’s Board of Directors has approved a plan to restructure the organization to better serve the interests of its membership.

The restructuring will result in two separate organizations – one that represents tire manufacturers and one to serve the needs of elastomer products manufacturers.

Each organization will be an independent 501(c)(6) trade association with its own board of directors, officers, budget and management.

The tire organization will retain the Rubber Manufacturers Association name and remain in the Washington, D.C. office. The new elastomer products group will adopt a new name and will be headquartered in the Midwest.

“The new elastomer products group will have greater opportunity to provide services that meets the needs of small to medium-sized rubber manufacturers and their suppliers, while operating in a lower cost environment,” said Charles Cannon, RMA president and CEO. “The focus will be on communication, member services, networking, and technical support.

“RMA will focus its resources on the U.S. tire manufacturing sector which continues to face a number of public policy challenges specific to this sector,” Cannon said. “Meanwhile, EPG executives will be able to focus on re-establishing an entity that will be uniquely designed to focus solely on EPG companies with greater flexibility for growth and a reduced cost model.

The executive leadership of both sectors are dedicated to maintaining a cooperative relationship for issues of mutual concern.

To begin the process toward creating the new elastomer product manufacturer organizations, a June 9 meeting has been scheduled in Fairlawn, Ohio for all interested companies to attend.

This initial meeting will feature a number of presentations focusing on potential objectives for a new organization, practical business-related topics and will provide a networking opportunity for elastomer product manufacturer executives. Veyance Technologies, a current EPG member of RMA, is hosting the conference.

“This initial event will be an opportunity to educate current EPG members and potential new members about the prospects for a new organization that can better focus on the needs of elastomer products manufacturers,” Cannon said. “We are confident that companies will be able to establish a new organization that will deliver improved value and more focused services.”

All companies interested in attending – both current EPG members and non-members – should contact Jenny Taylor at (317) 863-4072.

RMA Awards Industry For Achievements in Worker Safety

For more information contact:
Dan Zielinski
(202) 682-4846

WASHINGTON, D.C.May 4, 2010 – Fifty-five tire and rubber manufacturing facilities are being recognized for improvements in worker health and safety.

RMA’s Safety and Health Improvement Program (SHIP), created in 1981, recognizes member companies that achieve significant enhancements in worker health and safety with awards.

Two categories of awards are presented to companies that demonstrate workplace safety improvements, which are measured by the incidence rate for lost workday cases. The “Excellence” category is for facilities that achieve an incidence rate that is 75 percent better than the average achieved by plants that provided data to RMA.

The “Improvement” award is for plants that achieve an incidence rate that is both 10 percent better than its rate in the previous year and the same or better than the RMA average incidence rate.

One hundred thirteen plants from twenty-eight RMA member companies supplied data for the annual survey to determine the extent of workplace safety improvements. The data supplied to RMA is identical to information provided to the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics, which publishes injury and illness information on all industries.

Click here to view the winners by plant category and award type.

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The Rubber Manufacturers Association is the national trade association for the rubber products industry. Its members include companies that manufacture various rubber products, including tires, hoses, belts, seals, molded goods, and other finished rubber products.

Tire Company CEOs Push Ahead W/ Global Research Program on Potential Environmental and Health Issues

For more information contact:
Dan Zielinski
(202) 682-4846

Washington, D.C. February 12, 2007 – The Chief Executives from leading tire companies in North America, Japan, Korea and Europe met February 9 in Los Angeles, to review progress and set a forward-looking agenda for their global research program dealing with potential environmental and health impacts of their products.

At their last meeting in Geneva in 2005, the companies funded an initial $1 million, independent research program to examine issues related to materials used in tire manufacturing, and the impact of tire-wear particles generated during normal product use. Working under the auspices of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) based in Geneva Switzerland, ChemRisk, a San-Francisco-based risk assessment consultant was retained for the initial work. They have now completed scoping work on these two topics, working in close cooperation with DIK (Deutsches Institut für Kautschuktechnologie), the German Institute of Rubber Technology. The result is a multi-year research program to address gaps in existing information on these topics.

An independent assurance group, brought together by the WBCSD, reviewed the scoping work in October 2006. Members of the group include Prof. John Spengler, (Harvard University School of Public Health), Dr. Raman Letchumanan (Asean Environmental Secretariat), Dr. Meshgan Alawar (Dubai Police Academy Research Institute), Prof. Michel Savy (Paris-Val de Marne University), and Prof. Akio Morishima (Institute of Global Environmental Strategies, IGES).

Over the next 12 to 18 months, the Companies will work with material suppliers to better understand the current potential and future risks for chemicals in tires, and perform sample collection and characterization of tire-wear particles found in the environment. By late 2008, this program should permit a more precise risk assessment of both concerns.

By taking an early look at these issues, these Companies want to understand more about the challenges they face, and formulate an approach to making the industry more sustainable by better assessing and managing impacts from its products and processes. Participating companies in alphabetical order include: Bridgestone Corporation, Continental AG, Cooper Tire & Rubber Company, The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company, Hankook Tire Company, Kumho Tire Company Inc., Group Michelin, Pirelli & C., Sumitomo Rubber Industries Ltd., Toyo Tire & Rubber Company Ltd., and Yokohama Rubber Co., Ltd. Bridgestone, Goodyear and Michelin have served as co-leaders of the group’s work to date.

Representatives of the tire industry associations in Europe, Japan, Korea, and the United States also attended the meeting.

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The Rubber Manufacturers Association is the national trade association for the rubber products industry. Its members include companies that manufacture various rubber products, including tires, hoses, belts, seals, molded goods, and other finished rubber products. RMA members employ over 120,000 workers and account for more than $21 billion in annual sales.