About 2,500 union employees who work in BFGoodrich plants for Michelin North America Inc. have a new, three-year contract. The agreement covers United Steelworkers (USW) members in Tuscaloosa, Ala., and Fort Wayne, Ind.
The USW says the agreement passed by about a 2-to-1 margin. It includes annual wage increases and bonuses, maintains quality, affordable health care coverage, and strengthens retirement benefits.
“These hard-working union members, along with tire workers across the industry, are facing a number of challenges, first and foremost the threats of foreign competition and unfair trade,” said USW International President Thomas Conway. “They should be proud that they were able to reach an agreement that maintains family-supporting jobs while ensuring the long-term competitiveness of their facilities.”
The previous three-year agreement with workers at the BFGoodrich factories expired on July 27. The two sides began contract talks in the spring. The new contract runs through July 30, 2022.
Kevin Johnsen, chair of the USW’s Rubber/Plastic Industry Council, said the agreement was a testament to the strength and solidarity of the union’s membership.
“It was only by standing up with one voice and confronting these challenges together that we could reach a fair and equitable agreement,” Johnsen said.
Overall, the USW represents more than 18,000 workers in the tire industry at companies including Michelin, Goodyear, Bridgestone, Titan, Cooper and Sumitomo. Those workers represent about 2.1% of the USW's total membership in North America.