BFGoodrich Contract Overwhelmingly Approved, says USW
The three-year contract BFGoodrich signed with the United Steelworkers for its Tuscaloosa, US plant is said to have had one of the lowest number of ‘no’ votes ever experienced by the local union chapter. "'We are pleased with the contract. We are pleased with the vote," USW Local 351 president Jimmy Price told local media. Price, who was on the union's bargaining committee, added that he felt BFGoodrich was "very responsible to give a fair contract."
Price said the new contract guarantees the BFGoodrich factories in Tuscaloosa and Fort Wayne plants will remain open for the next three years, and further guarantees that the work force will be maintained at least at 90 per cent. “In these economic times, that’s a nice comfort zone,” he commented. The contract retained a quarterly cost-of-living adjustment and had few changes in the workers’ health insurance, added the union leader.
“We are pleased that our BFGoodrich tyre manufacturing facilities have ratified the agreement,” said Dave Lowe, vice president of employee and labour relations for Michelin North America in a statement. “The new agreement is geared toward improving flexibility and reducing operating costs significantly over the life of the contract, giving these plants the chance they need to compete in a highly competitive market.
‘The Tuscaloosa and Fort Wayne plants provide quality products for our customers and contribute to their local economies,” Lowe continued. ‘Maintaining a competitive edge is difficult under the tough economic and market conditions we face today. It is critical that the company work together with our BFGoodrich employees and the USW to improve the competitiveness of these plants for the mutual benefit of the employees, the company and the communities.”