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Goodyear's striking workers hopeful about tentative deal

Goodyear's striking workers hopeful about tentative deal

Union workers at the unprofitable Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. plant reacted with hope and some heartache to a tentative deal that would end an 11-week strike but does not guarantee their factory's future beyond 2007.
The world's third-largest tiremaker and the United Steelworkers union reached the deal Friday after both sides resumed talks early this week. About 12,600 union workers nationwide must still put the contract to a vote at ratification meetings expected to be held Thursday.
The deal allows Goodyear to stick with plans to close the 44-year-old Tyler plant _ which employs about 1,100 people _ but not immediately. It provides for a one-year transition period during which workers will have the opportunity to take advantage of retirement buyouts.
Goodyear on Oct. 30 announced it was planning to shut down its Tyler plant that makes wholesale private label tires. The plant's fate had been a key issue in negotiations, along with health care benefits.
But the union said the future of the plant, where workers continued to picket outside Saturday, could not be won beyond the end of 2007.
Although union workers in Tyler said the announcement was not a complete victory, they were thankful negotiations were progressing.
"With the fight that they've (the union) been doing, this is the best Christmas present they could give us," said Carl Wolford, who has been with Goodyear for 14 years.
Goodyear factories in Tyler and 15 other cities in the U.S. and Canada went on strike Oct. 5.
City officials, fearful of losing one of Tyler's largest employers, had presented Goodyear $12 million (euro9 million) in incentives to keep the plant running.


Updated : 2021-03-02 23:03 GMT+08:00