PITTSBURGH (June 30, 2004) — Negotiators for Michelin North America Inc. and the United Steelworkers of America (USWA) plan to meet next month to discuss separate contract issues involving the tire maker's U.S. and Canadian production workers.
Spokesmen for both sides confirmed June 29 that meetings will commence in Pittsburgh the week of July 12 regarding the master contract agreement between Michelin's Uniroyal Goodrich tire unit and workers at its three U.S. unionized plants and the ongoing strike at Michelin's BFGoodrich facility in Kitchener, Ontario.
The spokesmen emphasized the talks will be held in the same city but are separate.
About 1,000 members of USWA Local 677 in Kitchener went on strike June 1. The union and company haven't met since then.
In the U.S., the USWA and Michelin haven't met since January, the union spokesman said. Talks began in the spring of 2003, then were put on hold while the USWA focused on negotiations with Goodyear, the tire industry bargaining target.
After the Goodyear agreement was reached in September, the USWA restarted negotiations with Michelin and Bridgestone/Firestone, with an emphasis on BFS. Discussions with BFS broke down in November.
About 4,000 Michelin workers represented by the union have been working on an extension since the master contract expired in April 2003. The three unionized sites are in Opelika and Tuscaloosa, Ala., and Fort Wayne, Ind.