PITTSBURGH (Aug. 25, 2004) — Workers at Michelin North America Inc.'s three unionized U.S. BFGoodrich tire plants will know by the end of the day Aug. 26 if they have a new contract with the company.
United Steelworkers of America (USWA), which represents a total of 3,400 workers at the three sites, is holding ratification votes Aug. 24-26, according to local spokesmen.
USWA Local 715 in Fort Wayne, Ind., began holding ratification meetings Aug. 24 and will conclude them the evening of Aug. 25. USWA Local 753 in Opelika, Ala., also started voting sessions Aug. 24 and will conclude them Aug. 26. Local 351 in Tuscaloosa, Ala., will hold six sessions on Aug. 25.
Union and company negotiators reached a tentative contract agreement Aug. 20. The two sides had been bargaining in Pittsburgh since July 14.
On Aug. 23, striking Steelworkers at Michelin's Kitchener, Ontario, tire plant overwhelmingly ratified its own tentative agreement with the tire maker, with 94 percent of employees supporting the deal. USWA Local 677 members had been on strike since June 1 and now plan to return to work Aug. 25.
If approved, the contracts—which include wage and benefit enhancements and plant closure and subcontracting protection—will have a common July 22, 2006, expiration date. The previous three-year master pact for the three U.S. plants expired in April 2003; the workers have been on a day-to-day contract extension since then.