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Goodyear, union continue talks with contract expiration looming

Goodyear, union continue talks with contract expiration looming

Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. union workers at plants in 10 states prepared to go on strike as their contract with the tire maker was set to expire Thursday afternoon.
"We've not heard anything so we're making preparations to go out" on strike, said Rick Niekamp, vice president of United Steelworkers Local 200, which represents about 635 workers at a Goodyear rubber plant in St. Mary's, Ohio, near Dayton. He said the union was setting up a tent at the plant to ready for a possible picket line.
The 108-year-old company, with 2005 sales of $19.5 billion (euro15.3 billion) and more than 100 plants in 29 countries, said the talks affected 12,600 workers at 12 U.S. plants. The union put the head count at 14,000.
The union said it would terminate a day-to-day contract with Goodyear at midday Thursday if an agreement was not reached. The old three-year contract expired July 22.
"We're preparing for a number of scenarios and a strike is one of them," said Wayne Ranick, a spokesman for the Steelworkers.
Ranick and Goodyear spokesman Ed Markey said there was no update or progress to report Thursday morning.
"We're still talking and we're still on hold," Markey said.
The company said earlier that other options without a contract or extension of the old contract were a lockout or continuing work without a contract. Goodyear said it had contingency plans to keeps it plants operating.
The key sticking point apparently was the company's desire to close plants in Tyler, Texas, and Gadsden, Alabama, union representatives in both cities said. The union has said it was determined to avoid plant shutdowns.
"If I had to describe things in one word, it would be intense, but if I had to describe it in two words, it would be very intense," said Harold Sweat, a union official in Tyler. "We are ready for something to happen."
Bren Riley, vice president of Steelworkers Local 12 in Gadsden, said Gadsden and Tyler were left off the protected list in the company's latest proposal.
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On the Net:
http://www.goodyear.com
http://www.uswa.org


Updated : 2021-05-09 01:47 GMT+08:00