Union ratifies new Goodyear Deal
Bridgestone Americas’ new contract with the United Steelworkers of America was ratified earlier this month, and now it’s the turn of workers at six Goodyear Tire & Rubber plants in the US to give their deal the thumbs up. Workers at Goodyear’s Tonawanda plant, the last to ratify the deal, voted in favour of the four-year contract on 22 August; the USW union says that said members across the six plants approved the deal by a 3-to-1 margin.
“The ratified contract improves income, retirement and job security, among other benefits,” opines USW International president Leo W. Gerard. And Thomas O’Shei, president of USW Local 135, shares that the tentative deal had exceptionally strong support among union leadership, commenting “it’s the first contract that was ever unanimously approved by the USW Goodyear Policy Committee.”
“The contract protects our plants against closure throughout its term,” adds Tom Conway, USW International vice-president, who chaired the union’s Goodyear negotiations. “We also negotiated a commitment from Goodyear to invest in our North American facilities so that future generations can look forward to continuing the tradition of manufacturing in these communities.”
As Conway said, the deal calls for keeping all six plants open during the life of the contract, which runs to July 2017. One US news source, The Buffalo News, also writes that Goodyear has committed to investing at least US$700 million in the six plants and it talks of ‘employee buyouts’, stating that the deal allows Goodyear to offer 150 employee buyouts at the Alabama plant, plus 400 more buyouts at the other facilities. Goodyear’s conference call on 27 August should shed more light on this information.