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Goodyear contract extended

Goodyear contract extended

Posted: Wednesday, July 15, 2009 9:40 pm

From AP, staff reports
Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. and the United Steelworkers of America have extended their national contract four weeks until Aug. 15, both sides said Tuesday afternoon.
The three-year contract covering about 10,300 Steelworkers at seven Goodyear plants in the U.S. had been scheduled to expire Saturday. The extension was announced by the company in an e-mail statement. The union’s contract Web site also detailed the move.
The Steelworkers said job security would overshadow other issues in contract talks covering workers in Akron; Buffalo, N.Y.; Danville, Va.; Fayetteville, N.C.; Gadsden, Ala.; Topeka, Kan., and Union City.
All terms of the current agreement will remain in force with the extension, the union said.
Contract talks, which began last month, continue in Cincinnati.
Progress “remains slow,” according to the union’s bargaining committee’s Web site. Still, the union “believes we can reach a new labor agreement before Aug. 15, 2009, that is fair and equitable to all of our members,” the Web site said.
Goodyear said it was confident an agreement could be reached, but didn’t specify when.
“We remain confident that we will reach an agreement that is acceptable to both sides,” Jim Allen, Goodyear’s chief negotiator, said in a statement released by the Akron-based company.
Goodyear-Union City has been taking steps to reduce its workforce.
In February, the local plant announced it would eliminate about 60 job positions. The announcement came as the biggest U.S. tire maker stated it planned to cut nearly 5,000 jobs this year following a sharp drop in sales which led to a loss of $330 million in the fourth quarter of 2008.
Locally, Goodyear presented a three-phase proposal in April which was accepted by the Steelworkers to additionally reduce the workforce. Phase 1 of the agreement allowed for the buyout of 600 associates. About 550 accepted the offer and ended their years of service to the company by taking home $3,000 for each year worked.
If needed, Phase 2 of the agreement allows for 400 buyouts. The final phase could include the closure of the local plant.
The Danville Register and Bee reported earlier this year 200 buyouts were offered at the Goodyear plant in Danville.
Both facilities are currently working under a traditional production schedule of eight hours a day, five days a week.
Published in The Messenger 7.15.09


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