Steelworkers Begin Talks With Goodyear
The United Steelworkers of America (USWA) has announced that it is beginning master contract negotiations with Goodyear in Cincinnati. The talks will address contracts covering 20,000 members and 22,000 retirees across the U.S.
USWA International Vice President Andrew V. Palm will lead the USWA Goodyear/Kelly-Springfield/Dunlop bargaining team. “The security of our members’ jobs, wages, benefits and retirement earnings are our paramount concern,” he stated.
“We are convinced that Goodyear can return to profitability while also ensuring these basic protections. We do not intend to allow the company to restructure itself on the backs of its workers. If they don’t see us as part of the solution, it will only compound problems.
“The Union indicated that it did not believe that Goodyear could lay the blame for its financial problems on labour costs since it operates under an agreement shared with other tyre manufacturers which ensures parity of wages for all tyre and rubber producers. The Union pointed out that Bridgestone and Michelin operate under the same agreement and that they were profitable last year.”While we don’t see Goodyear’s financial position nearly as dire as many analyst’s forecast, we agree with the common perception that the company needs an aggressive plan to optimise such things as research and development, marketing, and sales,” stated Palm.
“We look forward to working with the company in negotiations to get Goodyear back on track.”Union officials from Goodyear facilities around the world will join the USWA Bargaining Team at the opening bargaining session. The delegates will include representatives from Brazil, the United Kingdom, Turkey and Germany.
Like their U.S. counterparts, the delegates belong to the 20-million member International Federation of Chemical, Energy, Mine and General Workers’ Union (ICEM).
The USWA is also beginning master contract negotiations with Bridgestone and Michelin this week. Usually these initial negotiation last for two weeks before the Union officials meet to agree a “target” company. The negotiations with that target company serve as the template for all other negotiations.