Yokohama Tire Corp. and the United Steelworkers of America (USWA) Local 1023 have reached a tentative agreement on a new labor contract for the company's Salem tire plant.
The pact-settled on Jan. 15-is pending a ratification vote by Local 1023's 800-plus members. The local held informational meetings Jan. 26 and the ratification vote was scheduled for Jan. 29, a USWA spokesman said.
If approved, the new contract at the Salem plant-which manufactures passenger and light truck tires-will run through April 15, 2007.
The previous six-year pact expired in June 2003 and was extended as tire industry master contract negotiations took place.
Like the other tire makers, talks between Yokohama and the Steelworkers were put on hold in the spring of 2003 while the union negotiated with Goodyear, the industry pattern target.
Bargaining resumed last spring and continued off and on until the tentative agreement, a Yokohama spokesman said.
The USWA completed a three-year deal with Goodyear in September 2003 and a three-year pact with Michelin North America Inc. in August of last year. Talks between the union and Bridgestone/Firestone still are pending.
Job security, plant investment, product development, import restrictions, health care costs and neutrality have been the hottest issues discussed in tire industry bargaining sessions.
Terms of the Yokohama/USWA tentative agreement are confidential, spokesmen for both sides said. In the last set of major tire industry negotiations in 2000, Yokohama conducted midterm reopener talks with the union. The resulting agreement primarily followed the industry pattern.