Union blasts Goodyear proposal, fires back with its own
The United Steelworkers is calling Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co.'s contract proposal package, which was sent last week, "totally unacceptable."
Highlights of Goodyear's proposal, which was presented on Sept. 13, include:
* plant protection similar to Michelin's agreement for all but two Goodyear master plants, including guarantees of no layoffs below a fixed number at protected facilities;
* pay increases for approximately 31% of Goodyear's workforce, as of July 2009;
* pay protection for current workers through July 2009, unless they move to a lower job grade;
* continued Cost of Living Allowance (COLA), distributed as a percentage based on pay rates;
* establishment of a "support unit;"
* revised piece work incentives;
* an "exit incentive" for up to 10% of the active population;
* pension increases with length of service;
* life insurance improvements for active employees;
* plant investment guarantees;
* a plan to protect competitive retiree medical benefits;
* reduce vacations for new hires;
* active health care changes.
The union presented proposal packages to Goodyear on Sept. 14. Among its proposals:
* continuation of COLA;
* eliminating "the 70% new hire progression rate and returning to pre-1997 hire in rate and progression;"
* enhancing hourly employee profit sharing program;
* paying out to hourly employes group bonuses "equal" to that paid to upper management;
* maintaining Supplemental Workers Compensation;
* recovering the 2003 two-year pension freeze;
* increasing the pension multiplier and the existing formula;
* increasing basic life insurance coverage;
* increasing accident and sickness benefits;
* maintaining Medicare Part B reimbursement for retirees;
* upgrading medical benefits for active employees and retirees;
* keeping contingent workers "out of our plants;"
* securing "meaningful capital investment guarantees for our plants;"
* enhancing the existing employee savings program (401K) and adding a 401(k) Roth;
* keeping plant protection guarantees for all of our plants;
* improving hourly employee staffing level guarantees;
* strengthening outside contracting protection.
"We again told the company that if no progress occurs, negotiations will not continue," say union officials.