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USW Canada Begins Talks With Goodyear

(Akron/Tire Review) While attention has been focused on the U.S. end of union negotiations, the Canadian arm of the United Steelworkers has begun the contract negotiation process with Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co., as well.

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The two sides exchanged initial contract proposals last week. The USW represents some 1,000 Goodyear employees in Canada.

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In a statement issued by the USW Canada last week, the union expects contract negotiations “to be difficult.”

"The USW is committed to achieving a fair and equitable contract, which must include job security, plant security and economic fairness for all members be they working or retired," the union said. "The USW, as always, is prepared to look at viable ways to increase workplace productivity and flexibility. However, we will never entertain the cut-and-gut approach being advanced by Goodyear.

"As is the case south of the border, the company’s demands are laden with concessions with no signs of job security," said the union. "Our members are committed to achieving an agreement that will protect both members and retirees. Before entering into bargaining, six presidents of Goodyear bargaining units in Canada signed a commitment to negotiating in unison and solidarity to confront the company’s agenda."

In Canada, strike votes have been taken and approved at two Goodyear facilities, and a third is expected to vote soon, said the union. Because of provincial laws, the fourth plant, in Alberta, cannot take such a vote in advance.

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