Retail

Union serves 72-hour notice to Goodyear

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The United Steelworkers have delivered the required 72-hour notice to Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. that unless a tentative agreement is reached within that time period, the parties' day-to-day contract will terminate on Oct. 5 at 1 p.m. EST.

The previous master contract between the union and Goodyear expired on July 22, 2006. Union workers have been operating on a day-to-day contract since then.

"We've been telling the company that we would stay at the bargaining table as long as progress was being made," says USW Executive Vice President Ron Hoover.

"While we are working hard toward successful resolution, in the event that does not occur Goodyear has contingency plans in place to continue operating our factories," says Jim Allen, Goodyear's chief negotiator.

According to Goodyear, prior to the expiration of the 72-hour period on Oct. 5, two scenarios are possible:

* the parties could agree to another extension of the previous contract;

* the parties could reach a tentative agreement on a new contract.

Goodyear says three scenarios are possible following the expiration of the 72-hour period:

* the 12 master plants could continue to operate and union employees could work without an agreement;

* the company could lock out union workers at its 12 master plants;

* the union could call a strike at the 12 master contract plants.

The union is accusing Goodyear of using a "cut and gut" strategy. "There's no sense continuing these talks if Goodyear is intent on gutting our contract and closing our plants," says Hoover.

A new master contract between the union and Goodyear would cover 14,000 workers.

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