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Union Decides to Return to Bargaining Table

(Akron/Tire Review) The United Steelworkers, in a sudden shift, agreed to return to the bargaining table in an effort to resolve the now two-and-a-half-month strike against 16 Goodyear facilities in North America.

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On other twist: USW and Goodyear negotiators were set to restart talks today in Pittsburgh, not Cincinnati, where the two sides had been meeting. The two sides had not had formal talks since Nov. 16 when the Steelworkers returned to the bargaining table after walking away just before the strike began on Oct. 5.

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The two main issues, at least according to the USW, are Goodyear’s plan to close its Tyler, Texas, plant and how the tiremaker may fund future medical coverage for retirees.

While Goodyear has remained ready to restart talks, the USW has refused to meet. The union’s decision to return to the bargaining table came after top USW officials visited strikers at several Goodyear facilities to hear first hand their concerns.

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