Belleville – Kevin Oelrich, a vice president of the Southwestern Illinois Central Labor Council, would like union members to know how they can choose union, American-made tires, rather than the Chinese made tires rolling into the U.S. market.
Consumer Reports tested three Chinese tire brands last fall and warned that they can be substandard and even counterfeit.
Oelrich, a member of Machinists Lodge 313, buyers can use a series of numerical codes to determine where the tires they are considering were made.
It might take a little insistence at the local tire store, he said, but it’s well worth it.
“You’re money ahead buying good U.S. tires rather than foreign,” Oelrich said. “If you just go and say you want tires, chances are they’re going to put foreign tires on your vehicle.”
The codes were listed in the November-December issue of the AFL-CIO Union Label & Service Trades Department’s Label Letter.
The American tires are made by members of the United Steel Workers.
The union has filed a trade case against Chinese tires being flooded into the U.S. market. The union won a tariff in 2009, but that legislation expired in 2012.
When shopping for tires, look for these codes to make sure they’re American or Canadian made:
- BE – B.F. Goodrich, Tuscaloosa, AL
- BF – B.F. Goodrich, Woodburn, IN
- VE, YE, YU or 8B – Bridgestone/Firestone, Des Moines, IO
- D2, E3, W1 or Y7 – Bridgestone/Firestone, La Vergne, TN
- 2C, 4D, 5D – Bridgestone/Firestone, Morrison, TN
- UP – Cooper, Findlay, OH
- UT – Cooper, Texarkana, AR
- JU, PC, UK – Goodyear, Medicine Hat, Alberta
- JJ, MD, PU – Goodyear, Gadsden, AL
- DA – Dunlop, Buffalo, NY
- JN, MJ, PY – Goodyear, Topeka, KA
- JE, MC, PT – Goodyear, Danville, VA
- JF, MM, PJ – Kelly-Springfield, Fayetteville, NC
- CF – Titan Tire, Des Moines, IO
- JH, MN, PK – Titan Tire, Freeport, IL
- B plus serial # – Titan Tire, Bryan, OH
- CC – Yokohama Tire, Salem, VA