USWA ratifies three-year contract with Goodyear

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The contract between Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. and the United Steelworkers of America (USWA) has been ratified by 13 of the 14 plants it covers. Only union members at the Union City, Tenn., plant rejected it.

A total of 70% of the workers voted in favor of the three-year contract, which Goodyear Chairman, CEO and President Bob Keegan described as "fair."

"The ground-breaking agreement... demonstrates what can be accomplished when the parties work cooperatively to address the serious problems facing U.S. manufacturers," he said. "This is a successful conclusion and a necessary step in the North American Tire turnaround process that was outlined to analysts in April."

The pact provides Goodyear with the following, in its own words:

* containment of health care, benefit and wage costs.

* unprecedented opportunities for improved productivity and streamlining of its North American manufacturing operations.

* the ability to source products globally where most needed for competitive purposes.

The USWA members receive "enhanced job security, exceptionally competitive wages and benefits, and unparalleled opportunities for cooperation between Goodyear and the USWA on a broad range of issues," according to Goodyear.

A conference call for financial analysts and the media explaining the specifics of the contract will be held Monday, Sept. 22. Keegan and Jon Rich, president of Goodyear's North American Tire operations, will host the call.

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