Goodyear, United Steelworkers reach tentative labor agreement

Goodyear Steelworkers

Global tire and rubber company, Goodyear and the United Steelworkers (USW) have reached tentative agreement on a new five-year master labor contract covering nearly 7,000 workers at five plants in the United States.

The tentative agreement is subject to a ratification vote by USW members at the five plants covered by the contract: Akron, Ohio; Danville, Va.; Fayetteville, N.C.; Gadsden, Ala.; and Topeka, Kan. It is expected that the local unions will schedule ratification votes within the next few weeks.

Officials with Goodyear and the United Steelworkers were in negotiations in Cincinnati as a midnight deadline loomed for the current contract to expire.

“Our goal is to reach an agreement that positions both the United Steelworkers and Goodyear for success by the contract expiration date of July 29,” Barbara Hatala, communications manager with Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. in Akron, Ohio, said in an email Saturday afternoon to the Register & Bee.

“We believe we have crafted a new labor agreement that positions both Goodyear and the United Steelworkers for success in the future,” said Jim Allen, Goodyear’s vice president, Global Labor Relations.

The Steeelworkers had earlier said to its members prior to the agreement in a statement that, “the union has been advised that at certain plants the company has brought newly hired probationary employees into a room and threatened that if they joined the union on any picket lines they would be fired.”

“Just so all members are clear on this issue. Should the union find it necessary to strike, we will strike with all our members and will not return without all our members, including probationary employees.”

Goodyear’s Danville facility employs about 2,200 workers, making it the largest private employer in the city. The plant manufactures aviation and specialty tires, and operates on three shifts. About 2,000 employees are represented by Local 831 of the United Steelworkers of America.

USW has a total of about 800,000 members.

Goodyear is one of the world’s largest tire companies. It employs approximately 65,000 people and manufactures its products in 47 facilities in 21 countries around the world. Its two Innovation Centers in Akron, Ohio and Colmar-Berg, Luxembourg strive to develop state-of-the-art products and services that set the technology and performance standard for the industry.

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