CINCINNATI (Aug. 15, 2003)—Negotiators for Goodyear and the United Steelworkers continued contract talks past the Aug. 15 mid-day deadline the company set only a day before, indicating the seriousness and intensity of the discussions, a company spokesman said at about 4:15 p.m. today.
The two sides worked until about 4:30 a.m., then continued talks later this morning. Goodyear told the USWA bargaining committee Aug. 13 it would unveil its cost-cutting plan to improve the ailing company's finances by mid-day today if a tentative agreement was not reached. Goodyear lost a net of nearly $237 million in the first six months of 2003.
A USWA spokesman said there was no indication of a break off of current talks or any unilateral action by the company. The Goodyear spokesman said the company's decision to make an announcement would be led by the direction of the negotiations, which seemed at the time to be making progress.
The company and union have been negotiating in Cincinnati since March 13, not counting the period between June 28 and Aug. 6, when talks were broken off. The key disputed contract issues have included job security for the 14 plants covered by the master agreements; financial restructuring; and health care coverage for active and retired USWA members.