Goodyear workers reach tentative agreement in contract negotiations
TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - A tentative agreement for a 4-year contract has been reached between Goodyear and the United Steelworkers on Saturday evening, July 30.
“When Goodyear finally moved in a positive manner within an hour left before expiration the USW granted a 24-hour extension,” the union said in a statement on its website. “Management moved because of the resolve and solidarity the membership has shown since we began negotiations. We granted the extension because we needed time to evaluate the offer, we did not want to call a strike if management finally realized we were not going to accept some of their ridiculous demands.”
The contract agreement originally was set to expire at 5 p.m. CST on Friday, however, minutes before the deadline, the extension was granted.
“After reviewing the company’s last-minute offer, your bargaining committee made a counter offer this afternoon and the parties have reached a tentative agreement pending membership ratification,” USW continued. “In the coming days, we will proofread all the documents for accuracy and develop a summary for your consideration. We will then announce dates, times, and locations for information meetings and ratification votes.”
The Union had been fighting for a pay raise and pointed out earlier that Goodyear reported $900 million in profits in 2021 and can afford a better offer. It stated that any pay raise the company had offered up to this point had been negated by passing along health care and benefit costs. It also cited issues like training and making workers use vacation time during a plant shutdown.
“The tentative agreement is a 4-year contract with general wage increases plus the renewal of our COLA provisions in which all employees will receive the COLA increases,” the Union said Saturday. “We have improved the PRO health care plan, with a path towards for all employees to be able to participate in the PRO. We have improved the company’s contributions to our 401K pension plan and we have achieved many of the goals the committee was directed to bargain.”
A Goodyear negotiations website had listed key issues like productivity, operational flexibility and health care costs.
“Like many American manufacturing companies whose products must compete in a global market, cost is a significant challenge for Goodyear. Goodyear’s goal in negotiations is to achieve a contract that improves its competitive position by addressing issues related to productivity and flexibility improvements in its factories, as well as health care benefits costs,” the company states on its site.
The contract covers around 6,000 steel workers in Topeka, as well as Arkon, Ohio, Danville, Va., and Fayetteville, N.C.
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