KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (July 28, 2006) — A committee of United Steelworkers local leaders representing workers at the Big Three tire makers will meet today to determine if the tentative agreement reached this week with BFGoodrich will serve as the industry bargaining pattern.
A nine-member committee made up of three members from each of the bargaining committees at Goodyear, Michelin North America Inc.'s BF Goodrich tire manufacturing unit and Bridgestone/Firestone will meet in Knoxville to review the tentative agreement and determine if it will form the basis for a “pattern agreement.”
The Steelworkers selected BFG as the bargaining target on June 30. Traditionally, the union focuses on contract discussions with the target to set a pattern for the rest of the industry.
“Pattern bargaining doesn't mean every piece of the pattern agreement will be copied exactly,” said Ron Hoover, USW executive vice president and head of the union's Rubber/Plastics Industry Conference. “It means in areas of wages, benefits for actives and retirees and overall cost to the company, the Big Three agreements reached will be comparable. It also means, for the union, that the goals established for all R/PIC agreements have been achieved.”
BFG and the USW bargaining committee representing 3,400 workers at three BFG tire plants reached the agreement July 25. The locals will hold informational and ratification meetings within the next couple of weeks, the union said.
Goodyear and the union have recessed talks while the BFG tentative agreement is being considered and voted upon, the USW said. The two sides will return to the bargaining table Aug. 6 in Cincinnati.
BFS and the Steelworkers recessed talks June 19.