PITTSBURGH (Sept. 10, 2003)—Two more tire plant locals have voted to approve the tentative master contract agreement between Goodyear and the United Steelworkers of America.
In voting completed Sept. 9, Local 307 at the Topeka, Kan., factory voted for ratification by a 75-percent approval rate, while Local 745 in Freeport, Ill., passed the measure by a much closer margin, with just 51 percent approving, according to the USWA´s Web site.
Thus far, 11 of 12 locals have approved, with just Local 878 at the Union City, Tenn., plant rejecting the agreement. Local 12 at the Gadsden, Ala., tire facility will conclude its three-day voting procedure Sept. 11, and Local 831 at the Danville, Va., tire factory will vote Sept. 12.
Although the USWA won´t reveal final ratification results until Sept. 15, the measure now seems certain for ratification. Under union rules, a majority of the 14 locals covered under the agreement must ratify the master pact, and those locals must represent a majority of the total members covered by the pact.
The agreement, among its many provisions, includes no general wage increase but does include cost-of-living adjustments; calls for the closure of the Dunlop tire plant in Huntsville, Ala., later this year; protection of 12 plants for the life of the three-year contract; a two-year freeze for pension benefit accruals; a cap on the percentage of hourly workers that can be laid off; and agreement to cut the salaried staff at a higher rate than the hourly staff.