Goodyear, union are ready to resume talks

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Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. and the United Steelworkers of America have agreed to resume contract talks.

Jon Rich, president of Goodyear North American Tire, told attendees at Goodyear's two-piece OTR tire introduction in Salt Lake City, Utah, last evening that the talks will start again next week in Cincinnati, Ohio.

"It's good that this process is moving forward," he said.

Negotiations on a contract between Goodyear and unionized workers at 11 Goodyear and three Kelly plants in North America seemed at at impasse two weeks ago.

"There's no reason for us to return to the bargaining table based on (Goodyear's) last offer," a USWA spokesman told at the time.

Goodyear and the USWA broke off negotiations after failure to reach a tentative labor agreement by the jointly established deadline of June 27.

However, Goodyear and the USWA have been involved in informal talks since then, according to both parties.

Union workers continue to produce tires under a day-to-day contract that can be canceled by either side with a 72-hour notice.

At today's conference call discussing the company's second-quarter financial results, Goodyear Chairman, CEO and President Bob Keegan said the company is "not aware of any significant pre-buying (in anticipation of a possible strike) by our dealers. Our feeling is our customer and supplier base believes it will be resolved."

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