USW, Goodyear Reach Agreement on Contract
The United Steelworkers (USW) announced on September 19 that a new four-year agreement covering some 10,300 USW members at seven Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company plants has been ratified by secret ballot referendum vote, and comes into effect on September 21.
“The contract was approved by an overwhelming majority of the membership and a majority of the plants,” said Kevin Johnsen, USW contract coordinator during negotiations. The previous labour agreement expired July 18 and was twice extended before the settlement was reached. The expiration date of the new contract is July 27, 2013.
According to the USW, the union’s priorities during contract negotations were job and plant security and continuing good, affordable health care for its members. “During this difficult economic period, this contract gives our members job security for the next four years,” said USW International president Leo W. Gerard. The agreement protects six out of the seven plants from closure during the term of the agreement and provides for minimum staffing levels. The protected plants include: Akron, Ohio; Gadsden, Alabama.; Buffalo, New York; Topeka, Kansas; Danville, Virginia, and Fayetteville, North Carolina. The contract also provides for a commitment by Goodyear to invest US$600 million in capital expenditures in the plants, keeping them up to date and globally competitive.