AKRON (July 29, 2013) — The United Steelworkers union (USW) has reached tentative agreements with Goodyear and Michelin North America Inc.'s BF Goodrich Tire unit on new 4-year master contracts covering about 10,000 employees at eight U.S. plants.
The new contracts must now be voted on by USW locals at the eight plants: Goodyear's factories in Buffalo, N.Y.; Danville, Va.; Fayetteville, N.C.; Gadsden, Ala.; Topeka, Kan.; and Akron; and BFG plants in Fort Wayne, Ind., and Tuscaloosa, Ala.
Ratification votes at the Goodyear plants will be scheduled in the near future, according to Jim Allen, Goodyear's vice president global labor relations, and Tom Conway, USW vice president administration.
The previous contracts expired July 27.
"The new tentative agreement includes economic and non-economic improvements for all union represented Goodyear employees," Mr. Conway said, "which led the committee to unanimously endorse it for ratification by the membership."
Goodyear said it will not discuss details of the proposed agreement until union members at the plants have an opportunity to review it.
The tentative agreement must be approved by a majority of the six local unions representing a majority of the membership, the USW said.
Goodyear-USW negotiations took place in Cincinnati.
The tire maker's only other U.S. tire plant, in Lawton, Okla., is a non-union factory, as is the plant in Napanee, Ontario.
The USW-BFG agreements cover 2,550 workers at plants in Fort Wayne and Tuscaloosa, according to USW Local 715 in Woodburn.
Details of the tentative agreement and the dates and times for ratification meetings will be forthcoming, according to a posting on USW Local 715's website.
The posting is signed by Larry Jackson, coordinator for the USW negotiations with BFG, Jeff Knoblauch, president of Local 715, and Mark Williams, president of Local 351 in Tuscaloosa.
The USW and Michelin/BFGoodrich declined to discuss issues during the negotiations.The union did not comment on progress on negotiations with Bridgestone Americas, affecting workers at plants in Des Moines, Iowa; Russellville, Ark.; LaVergne, Tenn.; and Akron.
Two other Bridgestone facilities—in Warren County, Tenn. (truck and bus tire production) and Bloomington, Ind. (OTR tire production)—are negotiating separately, the spokesman said. Also, a separate maintenance-only contract is being negotiated at LaVergne.