Goodyear’s decision to cut 5 per cent of its global salaried employees is shocking enough for the firm’s 72,000-strong worldwide workforce. However, the fact that senior executives directly linked that decision to the company’s worse-than-expected performance in the EMEA region (Europe Middle East and Africa) is giving employees in those countries extra cause for concern.
In order to offer a “comprehensive response to evolving employee expectations” about their working environment and conditions, Michelin has entered into a new four-year agreement with the four labour unions representing its workforce in France. The tyre maker and the CFDT, CFE-CGC, CGT and SUD unions signed the ‘People and their Working Environment’ agreement on 5 January 2023.
Michelin and labour unions have signed various successive telework deals covering its workforce in France since 2019 and worked together since the start of the Covid-19 crisis to develop a teleworking vision, strategy and arrangements. On 2 December, senior Michelin management and representatives from four unions signed a new telework agreement.
Pirelli has reaffirmed its commitment to “maintaining industrial operations” at both its Carlisle and Burton-on-Trent UK factories after unions suggested the company was about to close its MIRS robotic production line in Burton. According to Unite, which represents all 280 members of the Burton tyre factory workforce, Pirelli has proposed cutting 80 jobs. In a statement published on 11 February 2021, Unite criticised Pirelli for “not taking up the furlough scheme for these workers, instead of pushing ahead with the redundancies.”
Strong words from one of the unions representing workers at the Continental tyre factory in Aachen, Germany. Speaking with Munich-based newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung, IG BCE trade union chairman Michael Vassiliadis stressed that the planned job cuts “will be expensive”. He also claimed that Continental has turned away potential investors.
The union representing employees at a closure-threatened Continental factory has responded angrily to the decision, accusing Continental of “sacrificing” a “profitable tyre plant” as part of its savings programme. The IG BCE union particularly doesn’t understand the logic behind this step as it claims the tyre business in Aachen has achieved “double-digit” profit margins over the years and even operated in the black during the corona lockdown.
Workers Kumho Tire’s Macon, Georgia factory have voted to join the United Steelworkers (USW) union after the final completion of an election last Autumn. According to the USW, workers sought representation to fight “low wages, hazardous working conditions and abusive treatment at Kumho, which ruthlessly harassed and bullied union supporters in an attempt to derail the organizing campaign”.
Lay-off talks between Vredestein and employees at its Enschede factory in The Netherlands have not resulted in an agreement. The talks were prompted by the management’s announcement in early March that the firm is moving much of its production to Hungary. Since this will result in laying off around 750 of the 1,200 employees, a works council was developed in order to formulate an alternative proposal. However, according to various local news reports, the proposal was not received positively by the company management.
According to the Federation of Dutch Trade Unions (FNV), Apollo Vredestein will stop employing temp workers hired through agencies at its Enschede plant from April 2020. This means that almost 150 temporary jobs will disappear in addition to the approximately 750 permanent jobs that the tyre maker plans to shed.
Michelin’s plan to close its truck tyre factory in La Roche-sur-Yon, France took a step forward last Thursday when it signed an employee support agreement with four trade unions. This agreement with the CFDT, CFE‑CGC, SUD and FO unions followed 12 weeks of negotiations that took place between October and January.
The U.S. Senator representing the home state of Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company has written to the tyre maker, imploring it to improve the renumeration and treatment it gives workers at its plant in San Luis Potosí, Mexico. Sherrod Brown, Senator for Ohio, urged Richard Kramer, Goodyear’s chairman, president and chief executive officer, to “take immediate steps” to improve both. He also criticised Goodyear’s decision to recently prevent Members of the United States Congress from touring the facility.
US-based industrial union the United Steelworkers reports that it now represents approximately 325 workers at the Kumho Tire factory in Macon, Georgia. The workforce’s status as a bargaining unit comes almost two years after an initial vote on the matter was held.
A number of US lawmakers have criticized Goodyear Tire & Rubber over its treatment of workers at its San Luis Potosi, Mexico tyre factory in a letter to CEO Richard Kramer. Democratic Representatives Rosa DeLauro, Terri Sewell and Jimmy Gomez signed the letter and complained that their access to the site was limited.
Scotland’s Finance and Economy Secretary, Derek Mackay, held urgent talks yesterday with trade unions and the management of Michelin Tyre Company Ltd. to discuss the future of the Dundee car tyre plant, following confirmation of Michelin’s intention to close the plant by 2020.