Union sets Michelin as contract target

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The United Steelworkers have selected Michelin North America Inc. as the target for 2006 master contract negotiations in the tire industry.

The union is in talks with Michelin to forge a new contract for three Michelin-owned BFGoodrich plants.

The union also is in contract negotiations with Bridgestone/Firestone North American Tire LLC and Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co.

"Significant in the selection of (Michelin) is the fact that we believe we can set an industry pattern that looks after our retirees, enhances job security, and protects the standard of living for our active and retired members," says Ron Hooover, the Steelworkers' executive vice president.

Union officials say the purpose of pattern agreements is to "provide a level playing field for employers when it comes to the cost of labor.

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