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Goodyear doesn't expect easy road as contract talks resume

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"We still have areas of disagreement," Jon Rich, president of Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co.'s North American Tire unit, told mtdealer.com as the company plans to resume contract negotiations with the United Steelworkers of America (USWA) next week.

"But the fact that (USWA officials) were willing to get back together is a good sign."

Contract talks stalled in late June when both parties were unable to forge a tentative agreement.

At the time, USWA officials told mtdealer.com that Goodyear brass had refused to guarantee job security at its 14 North American plants while wanting to "slash" employee and retiree medical benefits.

However, Goodyear and union representatives have agreed to meet once again in Cincinnati, Ohio, where they had been negotiating since April.

"It's a tricky negotiation," says Rich. "We're trying to get our costs more competitive and balance the needs of our associates."

Unionized workers at Goodyear's plants are working on a day-to-day contract.

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