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USW reports a tentative agreement has been reached with Michelin

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The United Steelworkers reports a tentative agreement has been reached with Michelin North America Inc. The master agreement covers 4,000 members at three BFGoodrich tire plants in Fort Wayne, Ind., and Tuscaloosa and Opelika, Ala.

Michelin released this comment: "The agreement meets the terms the company believes are necessary to retain its competitive posture and to help ensure the viability of the BFGoodrich tire manufacturing plants going forward."

Michelin was designated last month as the target company in establishing an agreement in the tire industry. Master contracts are also being negotiated at Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. and Bridgestone Firestone North American Tire LLC.

The three BFGoodrich consumer tire plants have the capacity to produce 73,000 tires a day, according to Modern Tire Dealer's 2006 Facts Issue.

Details of the tentative agreement will not be released until membership at the three locals conduct informational meeting on the proposed contract, the USW reports. Ratification votes will then take place at the three locations.

A "majority of the majority" will be required for contract ratification. This means that 50% plus one vote overall and two-of-the three locals must vote to accept the tentative agreement for it to become contract.

"We believe we achieved our industry goals when it comes to protecting retiree health care benefits and securing additional job protection measures for our active members," says USW Executive Vice President Ron Hoover

Typically, informational meetings and ratification votes take place within two weeks of announced tentative agreement, says the USW.

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