PITTSBURGH (Sept. 9, 2003)—Nine of the 10 United Steelworkers of America locals that have voted on a tentative master contract agreement have approved the deal by wide margins, with only Local 878 at the tire plant in Union City, Tenn., voting down the pact.
But four large tire factories still have to complete voting this week, so the USWA won´t release final ratification results until Sept. 15, according to a USWA spokesman. The union has met the provision in its ratification process that at least half the locals must vote yes, but it must wait until all locations have voted to see if the pact also gains approval of a majority of all ballots cast, he said.
Local 878 voted against the contract Sept. 8 by a 52- to 48-percent margin, according to a spokesman for the local.
"The local union officers unanimously voted to accept the agreement, but the membership spoke yesterday and we will go forward from here," he said.
Thus far, five tire factories have voted in favor of the master agreement, including one by an 81-percent margin at Local 915 at the Huntsville, Ala., plant, which is slated to close as part of the tentative pact. Members there, however, will get enhanced severance packages and the possibility of getting hired at other Goodyear facilities.
Other locations giving approval thus far—with positive margins ranging from 66 percent to 90 percent—include Local 2 in Akron; Local 135 in Buffalo; Local 200 in St. Mary´s, Ohio; Local 286 in Lincoln, Neb.; Local 746 in Tyler, Texas; Local 843 in Marysville, Ohio; Local 904 in Sun Prairie, Wis.; and Local 959 in Fayetteville, N.C.
Votes will be completed Sept. 9 at Local 307 in Topeka, Kan., and Local 745 in Freeport, Ill.; on Sept. 11 at Local 12 in Gadsden, Ala.; and Sept. 12 at Local 831 in Danville, Va.