Contract Negotiations Between BFNAT and USWA Resume
(Akron/Tire Review) 23 April will mark the second year of an expired labour contract covering some 1,440 workers represented by the United Steelworkers of America (USWA) Local 310 at a Bridgestone/Firestone North American Tire (BFNAT) agricultural tyre plant near Des Moines, Iowa. Talks resumed this week in St. Louis to replace the old contract, which, in addition to covering the Des Moines plant, also covers about 5,000 other workers at other plants throughout the US.
In 1994, negotiations broke down, resulting in a 10-month strike. In 2000, talks resulted in a new contract that was scheduled to expire on 23 April 2003. Company and union officials met from January to March, but little progress was made, according to USWA. The union held strike preparation meetings in March but neglected to set a strike deadline. A BFNAT spokesman said the company has made a contract offer to the union. Union negotiators had said they would present a counterproposal shortly after talks resume. No strike or lockout has been reported.