USW members ratify contracts with Bridgestone
According to the United Steelworkers (USW), union members have ratified new four-year contracts with Bridgestone Americas Tire Operations LLC.
The contracts, which workers ratified by more than a two-to-one ratio, cover 4,500 workers at seven tire and rubber product plants in the United States.
A master agreement covers plants in Akron, Ohio (racing tires); Des Moines, Iowa; Russellville, Ark; and La Vergne, Tenn. A separate agreement was ratified by workers at the Warren County, Tenn., tire plant.
"Despite negotiating in these difficult economic times, the USW was able to protect wages and benefits," it said in a news release on its Web site, www.usw.org. "Quality healthcare was preserved for both active and retiree (members), and coverage for new hires was drastically improved."
In addition, new hires will continue to participate in what the union refers to as the "Defined Benefit" retirement plan.
With the Bridgestone contract in place, labor negotiations with domestic tire companies are officially over. USW members previously ratified new contracts with Michelin North America Inc.'s BFGoodrich Tire Manufacturing division and Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co.