AKRON-Union workers at Michelin's Uniroyal Goodrich Tire Co. have ratified a three-year master contract. But Goodyear union locals have rejected a proposed master contract for a second time, while negotiations between the United Rubber Workers and Bridgestone/Firestone Inc. have broken off.
Three of the Goodyear tire locals-representing just more than half of the firm's 12,000 workers covered under the master agreement-rejected the new proposal. Passage requires a majority of the nine URW locals representing a majority of the workers.
The U.G. Tire contract-approved by two of three locals-is similar to the original pattern settlement, with some differences.
URW members at the three Michelin-owned Uniroyal Goodrich tire plants will keep fully paid medical coverage using a managed care network, union officials said.
Workers also delayed the $500 signing bonus until December 1996, will freeze the cost-of-living (COLA) raises for a year and use some of the money saved to help pay for an increase in pensions to $37 a month per year of service.
The latest Goodyear proposal, reached May 15, made improvements in several areas over the original agreement, which was to serve as a pattern settlement. It allowed workers to choose fully paid health care coverage and granted full health benefits to retirees with 30 years of service.
It also retained portions of the original agreement which raise pensions, maintain the COLA and provide a form of profit sharing-but didn't include a raise.
Workers rejected the contract because of what they saw as takeaways, one local president said.
The two sides will continue to work day-to-day but no new talks have been scheduled. However, a strike still appears unlikely.
At BFS, negotiations broke off for a second time on May 24. The firm continually has told the URW it wouldn't accept any pattern contract that didn't meet BFS' needs, said a company official.