CINCINNATI (Nov. 6, 2000) — Negotiators for Goodyear and the United Steelworkers of America have a tentative agreement on midterm contract issues — including wage and pension language — carrying into 2003.
More than 20,000 workers at 14 tire and non-tire plants — nine Goodyear, three Kelly-Springfield and two Dunlop — will vote on those issues during the week of Nov. 7. There is no possibility of a strike or lockout as a result of negotiations during the reopener. The six-year master contract was signed in 1997 and expires in April 2003.
The two sides reached the tentative agreement Oct. 25. Disseminating information to local members and organizing votes takes about two weeks, a USWA spokesman said. Negotiations covered three separate contracts, one each for Goodyear, Kelly and Dunlop facilities.
The master pact covers about 12,000 employees in nine Goodyear locations, including tire plants in Gadsden, Ala.; Topeka, Kan.; and Danville, Va.
The agreement with about 5,700 workers at three Kelly tire plants — in Freeport, Ill.; Tyler, Texas; and Fayetteville, N.C. — expires 90 days after the master contract, a Goodyear spokesman said.
He said the two U.S. Dunlop tire factories in Buffalo, N.Y., and Huntsville, Ala. — employing about 2,600 union workers — were converted to the master schedule after Goodyear´s alliance with Sumitomo Rubber Industries Ltd. was completed a year ago.
While neither the union nor the company would detail the bulk of the issues, the USWA spokesman said the bargaining followed the pattern set by the master contract negotiations with Bridgestone/Firestone Inc. Those talks, completed in September, resulted in a three-year master contract and two separate deals.
Both sides confirmed the pension multiplier will be raised to $50 per month per year of service as it was with Bridgestone/Firestone. The previous industry standard was $41 per month per year of service.
The company and union negotiators also reached tentative agreements on wage, cost-of-living allowance, insurance, outside contracting and job security issues, the USWA spokesman said.
"We had discussions on most of the contract issues," the Goodyear spokesman said. "We´re pleased we´ve been able to reach this agreement."
Negotiations between Goodyear and the USWA began officially in Cincinnati in March. They suspended reopener discussions May 10, about a month after the USWA announced Bridgestone was its target company for pattern bargaining.
Talks between Bridgestone/Firestone and the union took longer than expected, and it wasn´t until September that discussions between Goodyear and the USWA resumed.
The union also has an expired contract with Michelin North America Inc.´s three Uniroyal Goodrich plants to work out, plus a midterm reopener with Yokohama Tire Corp.´s Salem, Va., tire factory.
A reopener with Pirelli Tire North America´s Hanford, Calif., facility also was on the agenda, but the future of USWA Local 703 there is dim following the company´s Oct. 5 notice that it may close the plant in six months.