Strike? Union Gives Goodyear 72-Hour Notice - Tire Review Magazine

Strike? Union Gives Goodyear 72-Hour Notice

(Akron/Tire Review) Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. inched closer to an all-out strike by United Steelworkers employees.

Yesterday, the union gave Goodyear the required 72-hour notice that it was terminating the extension of its previous contract, opening the door to a strike at 12 Goodyear plants.

Goodyear and the union have been operating on a day-to-day extension of their previous contract, which expired July 22.

Despite the notice, according to Goodyear, the two sides continue to negotiate in Cincinnati.

“The 72-hour notice simply creates a new deadline, which helps bring focus to the discussions as we work toward a new agreement,” said a Goodyear spokesman. “While we are working hard toward successful resolution, in the event that does not occur, Goodyear has contingency plans in place to continue operating our factories and serving our customers.”

"We’ve been telling the company that we would stay at the bargaining table as long as progress was being made," said USW executive vice president Ron Hoover. "There’s no sense continuing these talks if Goodyear is intent on gutting our contract and closing our plants. It’s a sad situation and a poor reflection on this company that we are forced to take this action after all we have done for them.”

The 72-hour period ends at 1 p.m. EST on Oct. 5, at which point the union could strike, Goodyear could lock union employees out, the two sides could agree to another extension, union workers could continue working without a contract, or a new contract could be reached.

Two weeks ago, Goodyear said it would not negotiate a new contract with the Steelworkers until the union had reached a new deal with Bridgestone/Firestone. However, Bridgestone/Firestone negotiators have stated that they are waiting for the union to reach a deal with the USW before substantial talks could begin on a new master contract.

The Goodyear/USW master contract between the USW and Goodyear covers 14,000 workers at 12 U.S. plants in Akron; Gadsden, Ala.; Buffalo; St. Mary’s, Ohio; Lincoln, Neb.; Topeka, Kan.; Tyler, Texas; Danville, Va.; Marysville, Ohio; Union City, Tenn.; Sun Prairie, Wis.; and Fayetteville, N.C.

Prior to the expiration of the 72-hour period (1:00 p.m. eastern, Thursday, October 5), two scenarios are possible:

 • The parties could agree to another extension of the previous contract;
 • The parties could reach a tentative agreement on a new contract.

Following the expiration of the 72-hour period, three scenarios are possible:

 • The master plants could continue to operate and union employees could work without an agreement;
 • The company could lock out the USW workers at the 12 master contract plants;
 • The union could call a strike at the 12 master contract plants.

Goodyear will not comment further until the parties reach a resolution or the 72-hour period expires.

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