BFNT, USWA talks at standstill

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"We think it's in the best interest of both sides to sit down and negotiate a contract that will benefit the company and the workers," a Bridgestone/Firestone North American Tire LLC (BFNT) spokesman told today.

However, no new talks with the United Steelworkers of America (USWA) are planned, he says.

Negotiations between BFNT and the USWA broke down last month after union officials turned down a proposal from the tiremaker.

Workers at eight BFNT plants have been working on a day-to-day contract since April.

Six of those plants are tire manufacturing facilities; the others build tubes, bladders and other items.

Either side can cancel the day-to-day agreement with a five-day notice, according to BFNT officials.

"We've said all along, 'Let's get back to the table and negotiate. Make a counter-offer.'"

USWA representatives say that BFNT is seeking "major wage and benefit concessions. Their proposal does not address job security."

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