NASHVILLE, Tenn. (July 29, 2013) — Bridgestone Americas and the United Steelworkers (USW) have reached tentative agreements covering new 4-year master contracts at six U.S. Bridgestone tire and tube plants.
Word from Bridgestone and the union about the agreements follows earlier news that the Goodyear and Michelin North America Inc.'s BF Goodrich Tires unit had reached agreements as well.
Bridgestone and the USW negotiators agreed to the new contracts, which affect about 3,500 hourly employees, but neither side offered any details of the new pacts.
One agreement covers workers at plants in Des Moines, Iowa; LaVergne, Tenn.; Russellville, Ark., and Akron; separate contracts cover workers at plants in Warren County, Tenn., and Bloomington, Ill.
The tentative agreements are subject to ratification by the membership, Bridgestone said, and the existing agreements—which expired July 27—have been extended day-to-day pending those votes.
Bridgestone said its goal in these negotiations was to achieve contracts that would allow it to remain competitive in the global marketplace while also addressing the best interests of its hourly employees.
"We are pleased with the progress made at the bargaining table and look forward to positive ratification votes and continuing our strong relationship with our employees and union leaders," Bridgestone said.
The Nashville-based tire maker also operates two non-union plants—in Graniteville, S.C., and Wilson, N.C.—with about 2,700 hourly employees. The 950 or so workers at the firm's plant in Joliette, Quebec, are represented by the Syndicat des Travailleurs de Bridgestone/Firestone de Joliette.
The tire makers and the USW have been negotiating for the past several months.