No news is good news with labor negotiations

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Last Friday's strike deadline came and went, but the labor negotiators for the Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. and the United Steelworkers of America stayed on.

After working through the night last Thursday, the negotiators kept at it through both Friday and Saturday, reportedly taking only a short break. On Friday, a Goodyear spokesman said the company will release an official statement when or if a tentative agreement is reached.

Goodyear did not return phone calls on Monday; negotiations are presumably continuing.

Goodyear set the Friday deadline because it said it needs to get back to business to achieve its "overall turnaround requirements." The company declined to reveal any specific plans it might take if negotiations stall.

Although some progress has been made since negotiations began March 13, job security and health benefit issues for both workers and retirees continue to be sticking points.

Contracts expired at 11 Goodyear plants in April; contracts at the tiremaker's three former Kelly-Springfield tire factories expired on July 6.

As of the end of closing Aug. 15, Goodyear's stock was trading at $5.59 a share, up 20 cents from the previous day.

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