BFNAT Des Moines Union Workers Approve Contract
(Akron/Tire Review – Des Monies Register) Union workers at the Bridgestone/Firestone North American Tire (BFNAT) agricultural tyre plant in Des Moines, Iowa, approved a new labor contract by six votes.
The agreement, which covers about 1,225 employees, is set to expire in July 2009. BFNAT will invest up to $100 million in the Des Moines plant as well as two others, according to the contract. Additionally, a new tiered wage system provides lower pay rates for new employees, starting at $13 an hour.
“It gives us some protection for retiree health care and definitely protects our plant security for the term of the agreement,” said Al Skinner, Local 310 president. “Companies expect us to compete competitively internationally, which is impossible. They (international competition) work for pennies on the dollar. They expect us to compete with them. It’s virtually impossible for us to do that.”