Goodyear, steelworkers reach tentative agreement PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Written by Associated Press   
Monday, 29 July 2013 10:57

FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. (AP) — The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. and United Steelworkers have reached a tentative agreement on workers at six plants, avoiding a strike just two hours before a deadline.

Both sides sent out statements after reaching a compromise on a new, four-year labor contract about 10 p.m. Saturday. They have been negotiating in Cincinnati since April. A strike was similarly avoided during the last round of negotiations in 2009, when an agreement was reached three hours before the previous contract expired.

About 600 union members on an overnight shift in Fayetteville were prepared to walk out at midnight, said Terry Brewington, vice president of the local union chapter.

Most of the plant's 2,500 workers are union members.

Neither Goodyear nor the union provided details of the deal. A majority of union members still must ratify the agreement.

The union says it would cover about 8,500 employees at six plants. Others are in Buffalo, N.Y.; Topeka, Kan.; Danville, Va.; Gadsden, Ala.; and Akron, Ohio.

Brewington said the pending agreement protects the Fayetteville plant from closure over the next four years.

Steelworkers have walked out twice in the plant's history. The first 17-day strike was in 1997. Goodyear steelworkers last went on strike in 2006 for three months.

The Fayetteville Observer reports ( ) that pensions were one point of contention.

Goodyear froze its pension plans for salaried employees in the United States in December 2008. Under the previous, four-year contract with United Steelworkers, hourly employees hired after August 2009 weren't eligible for pensions.

Goodyear wanted to shift all employees out of a pension system to a defined yearly contribution. Last year, the company announced it contributed $454 million to its U.S. pension plans.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 30 July 2013 06:16

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