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More on tentative Goodyear-USW contract

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More on tentative Goodyear-USW contract

The United Steelworkers (USW) union has released more details about the tentative master contract with Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. that is expected to be ratified by Sept. 18.  The agreement covers 10,300 union members at seven Goodyear plants.

"Our priorities were to protect our plants and our jobs while maintaining good, affordable health care in a difficult economic climate," says USW International Vice President Tom Conway.

The agreement, according to the USW, requires Goodyear to invest at least $600 million in capital expenditures to maintain its factories "with state-of-the-art equipment." The agreement also protects six plants against closure: Akron, Ohio; Gadsden, Ala.; Buffalo, N.Y.; Topeka, Kan.; Danville, Va.; and Fayetteville, N.C.

Other provisions include:

* "separation allowance buyouts" for employees at Goodyear's Buffalo factory "in the event the company decides to no longer produce truck tires" there.

* "wage and benefit improvements" for employees hired after Oct. 1, 2006, including two 50-cents-an-hour increases and additional vacation time designed "to bring them closer to the levels of senior employees. They also will be eligible to receive accident and sickness benefits, vision care (and) improved life insurance coverage."

* multiplier increases for senior employees who retire during the duration of the new agreement.

The contract must be approved "by a majority of the membership and a majority of the plants," according to USW officials.

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