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More than 500 Goodyear associates request buy out

More than 500 Goodyear associates request buy out

Posted: Tuesday, June 2, 2009 1:35 pm
By: Sabrina Bates, News Editor

More than 500 Goodyear associates request buy out | Goodyear-Union City, United Steelworkers Local 878, buy out
The deadline has passed and the results are in concerning the potential for a number of Goodyear-Union City associates to walk away from the plant.
According to U.C. Today, a weekly publication provided to Goodyear-Union City associates, 518 workers have applied for a Phase I buy out from the company.
USW Local 878 members were notified of a proposal issued by Goodyear in late April, which highlighted three potential phases of production decreases and buy outs for plant workers. After a vote by Local 878 workers, the agreement was accepted by an overwhelming 97 percent in favor of the proposal.
Since that time, Goodyear-Union City announced plans to move to three eight-hour shifts, five days a week traditional production schedule after the July 4 holiday shutdown. Currently the factory operates seven days a week on a 12-hour continuous production schedule.
The plant also announced it would allow the buy out of 600 associates under Phase 1 of the agreement.
Under Phase 1, associates with at least six months of service to the plant could apply for the buy out at $3,000 for each year of service with no cap.
Goodyear-Union City reported on Friday that 518 associates signed up for the Phase 1 buy out package. An additional 30 inactive associates will be included in the final number.
The plant posted buy out awards throughout the factory this morning.
Under Phase 1, associates between the ages of 53 and 55 with a minimum of 28 years of service who accept the buy out will be eligible to receive unemployment benefits until they are eligible to retire from the company.
Goodyear-Union City associates who plan to retire as a result of the buy out can schedule meetings in the human resources organization beginning June 9.
“This phase of the transition process is complete,” said Plant Manager Todd Turner. “Our focus now must be on implementing a new production schedule and improving our productivity to levels consistent with organizations that operate in a global environment in order to ensure Goodyear Union City’s operations remain viable.
“Making the Union City plant successful into the future will require a total team effort, driven by a willingness by all to put aside the past, and operate the plant in a totally new and more productive manner going forward,” Turner said. Anything less will greatly reduce our chances of success.”
Turner noted that Goodyear’s presence in Union City is valued, and the plant’s challenge is to deliver to its commitments and continue to earn the customers’ trust every day.
USW Local 878 Communications Director Willis Hicks told The Press that associates would leave the plant according to job classification and the time it takes to train replacements in various departments.
The lagging economy has taken its toll on the replacement tire industry as Goodyear plants in Topeka, Kan. and Danville, Va. have reported similar buy out agreements.
According to the WIBW-TV of Kansas, 225 jobs would be eliminated through buy outs and lay offs at the Topeka-Goodyear plant.
The Danville Register and Bee reports 200 buy outs were offered at the Danville-Goodyear plant.
Both facilities also announced plans to move to three eight-hour shifts, five days a week production schedule.
WCP 6.02.09

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