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Goodyear, USWA reach tentative agreement

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The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. and the United Steelworkers of America (USWA) reached a tentative agreement on a new three-year master contract late yesterday, ending more than four days and nights of virtually non-stop bargaining and analysis.

Jim Allen, Goodyear's director of global labor relations, says the tentative agreement still must be approved by the more than 16,000 plant employees it represents; they will vote on the ratification of the agreement in the near future.

"This tentative agreement reflects a tremendous amount of work by the company and union," he says. "It's a balanced document that supports the business turnaround needs of the company, strengthens our relationship with the USWA and addresses the key concerns of its members and retirees."

Details of the proposed agreement will not be available until the union has the opportunity to share the information with its members, according to Goodyear.

Manufacturing at the 14 plants affected by the proposed master contract has been uninterrupted throughout the negotiations, which began March 13. Goodyear and the union agreed to day-to-day extensions shortly before the original master contract was due to expire on Apr. 19.

The 14 facilities are located in Akron, Marysville and St. Marys, Ohio; Union City, Tenn.; Topeka, Kan.; Danville, Va.; Lincoln, Neb.; Sun Prairie, Wis.; Gadsden and Huntsville, Ala.; Buffalo, N.Y.; Fayetteville, N.C.; Freeport, Ill.; and Tyler, Texas.

As of the end of closing yesterday, Goodyear's stock was trading at $6.30 a share, up five cents from the previous day. The stock price is up 91 cents since Thursday, Aug. 14, when Goodyear set a deadline for a tentative agreement to be reached.

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