MORRISON, Tenn. (July 20, 2005) — United Steelworkers Local 1155, which staffs Bridgestone/Firestone's Warren County, Tenn., truck and bus tire plant, has told the company it will terminate their day-to-day contract, opening the door to a potential strike.
BFS received a notice from the union July 15 saying it would end the day-to-day extension—in force since their previous three-year contract expired in April 2003—as of midnight July 21, a company spokesman said. The notice did not say the more than 700 local members would walk out as of the contract lapse, but Local 1155 officials have been pointing to July 22 as a strike date.
USW and BFS negotiators planned to meet the afternoon of July 19 in an attempt to find some common bargaining ground before a strike begins. The company reached a contract agreement running through July 23, 2006, with USW members at seven other BFS tire and rubber plants last month.
The Warren County plant was included in those negotiations, though Local 1155's contract is separate from the master contract covering six of the facilities. However, about 85 percent of voting members rejected the company's offer on June 17, believing the proposal was substandard for what they do, particularly given the plant's profitability.