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FIRESTONE PLANT MAY BE CLOSED

Bridgestone/Firestone officials assured union leaders Tuesday that there are no immediate plans to shut down the company's Decatur tire factory despite a published report that top company executives have not ruled out that option.

Plant manager Harry McMillan told members of the United Steelworkers Local 713 that the company will slow production at Decatur, from 25,700 to 23,500 tires per day, while specialists sent from Japan review the manufacturing process.

On Tuesday, The Wall Street Journal quoted Bridgestone Corp. chief executive Yoichiro Kaizaki as saying the company is considering suspending or ceasing operations at Decatur, the plant that made most of the Firestone tires being recalled.

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