ST. LOUIS (Nov. 14, 2003) — Negotiators for the United Steelworkers of America (USWA) walked away from the bargaining table with Bridgestone/Firestone (BFS) Nov. 12, telling the tire maker its latest contract proposal was an “insult.”
The USWA's displeasure with BFS's Oct. 27 master contract proposal resulted in negotiators breaking off talks, spokesmen for both sides confirmed Nov. 13. Union officials told the company its offer was so far off the mark, it couldn't serve as a basis for a new contract, a USWA spokesman said.
In its proposal, BFS made no commitment to North American production, investment or job security, which were key issues in the three-year pattern agreement reached with Goodyear back in mid-September, according to the union. The company is asking for concessions in several other areas as well.
Officials for both sides have left St. Louis, where discussions have taken place sporadically since September. No further negotiations are planned.