Michelin, Union Reach Tentative US Tyre Agreement
Michelin and the United Steelworkers on Tuesday reached a tentative agreement on a new contract for hourly workers at three of its BFGoodrich tyre plants in the United States. Details of the agreements, which cover about 3,450 workers, will not be released until the union has completed ratification votes, Michelin spokeswoman Lynn Mann said. The contracts covering the Michelin union workers in North America were to expire at midnight on July 22, but both sides had agreed to temporary extensions while talks continued. The agreement covers two of Michelin’s BFGoodrich plants in Alabama and one in Indiana and is to be used as a template for contract talks with Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. and Bridgestone Corp. in North America.
The agreement meets the terms that Michelin believes are necessary to maintain its competitive posture, Mann said. United Steelworkers spokesman Wayne Ranick said details on the three-year agreement will not be released until union leaders have discussed them with members. Typically, ratification votes are taken within two weeks of an agreement announcement and approval requires a majority vote overall and two of the three locals voting to accept it, the union said in a statement.
“We believe we achieved our industry goals when it comes to protecting retiree healthcare benefits and securing additional job protection measures for our active members,” USW vice president Ron Hoover said in a statement. Agreements covering the BFGoodrich, Goodyear and Bridgestone plants in the United States all expire at the same time, with the union choosing a target company to negotiate a master agreement to use in talks with the other two.
Goodyear and the steelworkers have agreed to a day-to-day extension of contracts covering about 14,000 workers at 12 US tyre plants in Ohio, New York, Virginia, North Carolina, Alabama, Kansas, Texas, Tennessee, Nebraska and Wisconsin. Bridgestone and the union have recessed talks over contracts that cover 6,000 workers at eight U.S. plants located in South Carolina, Ohio, Illinois, Iowa, Tennessee, Oklahoma and North Carolina.