PITTSBURGH (Aug. 27, 2004) — Unionized workers at three U.S. Michelin North America Inc. BFGoodrich tire plants have approved a new three-year master contract in local voting held Aug. 24-26.
In Tuscaloosa, Ala., members of United Steelworkers of America (USWA) Local 351 ratified the agreement by a 588-267 vote; Local 715 in Fort Wayne, Ind., approved it 588-238; and Local 753 in Opelika, Ala., said yes by a 610-247 count. Overall, more than 70 percent of voting members ratified the new deal.
The 3,400 union workers at the three plants had been working on a day-to-day extension since April 2003, when the previous three-year master contract expired.
About 94 percent of the membership at Local 677 in Kitchener, Ontario, also ratified a new contract Aug. 23, ending a nearly three-month strike at the BFGoodrich plant there. The local's 1,000 workers struck June 1 after its three-year contract with the company lapsed.
Tentative agreements between the two sides covering all four plants were reached Aug. 20 in Pittsburgh, where contract talks had been held since July 14. The agreements expire the same day—July 22, 2006—something the USWA had been seeking in negotiations.
The contracts provide sought-after job security for union members and production cost cuts for the company.