USWA to get seat on Goodyear board
In a groundbreaking move for Goodyear, the company has agreed to give a position on its board to the United Steelworkers of America (USWA) to cut
hundreds of management jobs. Part of he deal requires that union members agree to a three-year pay freeze, will pay more for health care and accept
At this stage it is unclear how many management positions will be affected
amongst the 2,500 salaried staff at the Akron offices or at associated technical departments. It is expected though, that the cuts will be sweeping with as many as 200 jobs going.
Additionally, the company has agreed to limit management salaries in line with those paid at similar sized industrial operations and that stock and share options will only be awarded as a bonus to those who act to improve the long term performance of the company stocks and shares.
The agreement comes as a result of extended negotiations between Goodyear and the USWA. Goodyear has been struggling to remain viable for some time and it has recently undertaken a programme to streamline its operations and bring the business back into profitability. It has always been expected that this task would require job losses.
Naturally the USWA has fought to protect its members positions and has used the situation to strengthen its influence on Goodyear’s policies. In future Goodyear will give US factories first consideration in manufacturing products for sale in North America. There will also be restrictions placed on the importation of tyres that are also domestically manufactured unless US plants are at capacity. Another big gain for the USWA is the agreement at Goodyear for all North American plants to have their labour contracts synchronised. Currently, each plant has a different contract and this leads to variable terms of employment at each plant.
Something the union hopes to address in future. Ultimately this strengthens the union’s hand when negotiations for the next round of contracts begins. However, the union has had to concede on the closure of a plant at Huntsville and a warehouse in Lincoln, Nebraska, job losses exceed 1,400 at these two sites.
The reduction in management at Goodyear will see the manager, staff ratio alter from 1:5 to 1:7. According to reports, Goodyear has also agreed with the USWA to raise an additional 325 million dollars by selling new stock and securities.
The full details of the agreement are not yet available to the public and
the USWA is taking the details to its 16,000 members for final approval. The agreement needs approval by an overall majority of the membership and by at least eight of the 14 unionised plants in North America (there are two non-unionised plants).