Union Ends Talks With Goodyear
The United Steelworkers has walked away from contract talks with Goodyear. The USW informed its members that its negotiating team has left Cincinnati – site of the Goodyear/USW master contract talks – and that no new negotiations had been scheduled. “We will go back when the company has something new to show us,” USW spokesman Wayne Ranick said in a Reuters report. Goodyear, for its part, said that its negotiating team would remain in Cincinnati and stood ready to continue bargaining for a new master contract.
So where do the two sides go from here? Deutsche Bank analysts reported that the USW sees Goodyear’s unilateral announcement of a plant closure as “setting an unacceptable precedent, and the bottom line is they aren’t going to budge on this issue.”
The analysts suggest that the high risk option available to Goodyear is to sack the striking workforce and re-hire 10,000 to 11,000 hourly workers in order to rebuild the company’s North American manufacturing base. And while the Deutsche Bank reports that considerable savings could be made from a non-union workforce, they also warn that predicting how much market share might be lost in the process of making such a move is difficult to predict.
“We believe that Goodyear could come out ahead if they lose only 10 per cent of their North American market share. But earnings could be considerably lower if they lose 20 per cent,” the analysts concluded, maintaining their hold rating for Goodyear shares.
Some 17,000 workers have been on strike at 16 North American Goodyear plants since 5 October.