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Strike Hampers Humvee Tire Production; Goodyear and USW Look for Solution

(Akron/Tire Review) The United Steelworkers strike against at least one Goodyear plant may take a break to allow production of military tires needed in Iraq.

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House Armed Services Committee Chairman Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-CA) said U.S. forces need Humvee tires, produced by Goodyear at its Topeka, Kan., plant.

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Workers there have been on strike since Oct. 5, and the plant has only been able to produce a limited number of the special military-grade tires.

According to an Associated Press report, Hunter sent a letter to Goodyear officials asking that 200 striking Steelworkers be allowed to return to work to produce the needed tires. Other reports indicate that the tiremaker and union appear willing to let that happen.

In the AP report, Goodyear said it has been in constant contact with the military and is "working on every viable option to continue to increase our production to meet the military needs. If the USW would like to encourage its members to return to work to increase production of Humvee tires for the military, we would fully support that effort."

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"Here in Topeka, the union is willing to make sure the military has all the tires it needs to support the troops,” Robert Tripp, president of USW Local 307, said in the AP report.

Tripp said that while he was willing to discuss ways to ensure the military has the tires its needs, “I’m not willing to encourage my people to cross the picket line.”

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