Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co., with 12,000 union employees on strike at 16 plants in the U.S. and Canada, will turn to managers, inventory and tires from overseas to try to keep things going.
The United Steelworkers of America terminated a day-to-day contract extension Thursday and quickly set up picket lines. A company spokesman said talks would not resume until Saturday at the earliest.
Without giving details, Goodyear said its latest offer would protect jobs and pensions. The company said the union failed to agree to terms in contracts the union has with other tire makers, conditions the company claims are necessary for its survival.
The union, mindful of contract concessions it made three years ago, said the company's latest proposal would have included two plant closings and other concessions.
Goodyear will continue production at nonunion plants in Lawton, Oklahoma, and Napanee, Ontario, and will use salaried workers at its union plants, spokesman Ed Markey said. The company also has imports and inventory to draw on, Markey said, declining to give specifics.
"We are working to minimize impact on our customers," chief Goodyear negotiator Jim Allen said.
Akron-based Goodyear ranks No. 3 in the world in tire sales, based on revenues, behind top-ranked Bridgestone and No. 2 Michelin, according to the trade publication Tire Business. The 108-year-old company had 2005 sales of $19.5 billion (euro15 billion) and more than 100 plants in 29 countries.
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