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Goodyear, Steelworkers contract talks still on hold

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"There's no reason for us to return to the bargaining table based on (Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co.'s) last offer," a United Steelworkers of America (USWA) spokesman told mtdealer.com earlier today.

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

Officials from both parties have confirmed that new talks have not been scheduled.

"There is an informal dialogue," according to the USWA spokesman, but he says most of it has been limited to the exchange of finacial information and related data.

Unionized workers at 11 Goodyear and three Kelly plants in North America are working under a day-to-day contract that can be canceled by either side with a 72-hour notice.

The union has said it is preparing for a possible strike but also is examining other options.

"A strike would very quickly put Goodyear in bankruptcy court," admit USWA officials.

They claim Goodyear has "refused to make any real commitment to job security at (its) plants," among other grievances.

The Akron, Ohio-based tiremaker considers the haitus in talks to be a "break," not an "impasse.

"We knew up front that this would be a challenging series of negotiations," says a spokesman for the manufacturer.

Representatives from both sides had been meeting since April.

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