United Steel Workers ready to strike at Goodyear plants

| Wednesday, October 04, 2006

The United Steel Workers union has delivered a required notice to the Goodyear Tire and Rubber Co., and unless a tentative agreement is reached their contract will terminate Thursday, Oct. 5.

As a three-year master contract approached its July 22 termination date, both sides entered into a day-to-day extension agreement that provided both the tire company and the union the option of terminating the agreement upon delivering a 72-hour notice, according to a union press release.

“We’ve been telling the company that we would stay at the bargaining table as long as progress was being made,” said Ron Hoover, the union’s executive vice president. “There’s no sense continuing these talks if Goodyear is intent on gutting our contract and closing our plants.”

According to Jim Allen, Goodyear’s chief negotiator, the two parties are continuing to negotiate in Cincinnati.

The 72-hour notice filed earlier this week simply creates a new deadline, which helps bring focus to the discussions as we work toward a new agreement, he said in a Goodyear press release.

The Goodyear press release stated company officials are “working hard toward a successful resolution.” In the event that does not occur, Goodyear has contingency plans in place to continue operating factories and serving customers.

Up until the expiration of the 72-hour period, two scenarios are possible:

  • The parties could agree to another extension of the previous contract;
  • The parties could reach a tentative agreement on a new contract.

Following the expiration of the 72-hour period, three scenarios are possible:

  • The master plants could continue to operate and union employees could work without an agreement;
  • The company could lock out the union workers at the 12 master contract plants;
  • The union could call a strike at the 12 master contract plants.

The master contract between the United Steel Workers union and Goodyear covers 14,000 workers at 12 U.S. plants.

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