PITTSBURGH — Unionized hourly workers at a dozen plants operated by Bridgestone Americas Inc., Goodyear and Michelin North America Inc. have ratified new master labor contract agreements.
Collective bargaining pacts involving the United Steelworkers locals at Michelin (about 1,800 workers) and Bridgestone Americas plants (about 4,000 workers) were ratified Aug. 19, while a new CBA with Goodyear was ratified by union workers Aug. 24, affecting about 6,000 workers.
The USW said all three contracts were ratified "with an overwhelming majority of members," although neither it nor the tire makers disclosed the specific vote counts.
"The hard work of our negotiating committees and the solidarity of the membership throughout the industry have been rewarded with fair contracts for everyone," USW International President Tom Conway said.
“We made it a priority to raise wages and retain cost-of-living adjustments without giving in to management's demands that we sacrifice quality, affordable health insurance options."
According to Conway, USW members achieved gains in wage increases, cost-of-living adjustments, lump-sum payments for ratification of the contracts, improved pension and retirement options and access to improved health care.
In response to labor market constrictions for employers and worker retainment, new hires for the companies now can accrue vacation and progress through the early portions of wage scales more quickly.
The initial deals were announced in July.
- Goodyear employs around 6,000 USW members at facilities in Akron; Topeka, Kan.; Danville, Va.; and Fayetteville, N.C.
- Bridgestone employs around 4,000 USW members at facilities in Akron; Des Moines, Iowa; Bloomington, Ill.; Russellville, Ark.; LaVergne and Morrison, Tenn.
- Michelin-BF Goodrich employs around 1,800 USW members in Tuscaloosa, Ala., and Fort Wayne, Ind.
The agreements also allow recently hired and younger employees to accrue vacation and progress through the wage scales more quickly in an effort to help the employers retain more workers.
The contracts with Goodyear and Bridgestone set terms for four years, while the Michelin-BF Goodrich agreement is set to expire after three.