AKRON (Oct. 2, 2006) — The United Steelworkers (USW) has given Goodyear its 72-hour notice to terminate its contract extension with the tire maker, imposing a new deadline of Oct. 5 to reach an agreement.
Goodyear said it received the notice at 1 p.m. EDT on Oct. 2. The previous contract expired July 22, but workers continued under a day-to-day extension that could be ended with 72 hours notice.
“We've been telling the company that we would stay at the bargaining table as long as progress was being made,” said Ron Hoover, USW executive vice president. “There's no sense continuing these talks if Goodyear is intent on gutting our contract and closing our plants.
“It's a sad situation and a poor reflection on this company that we are forced to take this action after all we have done for them,” Mr. Hoover added, referring to union concessions in the 2003 contract.
The parties continue to talk in Cincinnati, the tire maker said.
“The 72-hour notice simply creates a new deadline, which helps bring focus to the discussions as we work toward a new agreement,” said Jim Allen, Goodyear's chief negotiator. “While we are working hard toward successful resolution, in the event that does not occur Goodyear has contingency plans in place to continue operating our factories and serving our customers.”
Goodyear said the parties could agree to another extension or reach a tentative agreement on a new contract before the Oct. 5 deadline. If the deadline passes with neither of these happening, Goodyear said union employees could work without a contract, the company could lock the USW workers out of the plants or the union could call a strike at the 12 plants it represents.
The USW represents workers at Goodyear plants in Akron; Gadsden, Ala.; Buffalo, N.Y.; St. Marys, Ohio; Lincoln, Neb.; Topeka, Kan.; Tyler, Texas; Danville, Va.; Marysville, Ohio; Union City, Tenn.; Sun Prairie, Wis.; and Fayetteville, N.C.