Bridgestone/Firestone and union reach tentative master contract, agreements

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Bridgestone Firestone North American Tire LLC and the United Steel, Paper and Forestry, Rubber, Manufacturing, Energy, Allied Industrial and Service Workers International Union have reached a tentative labor contract covering six U.S. facilities and tentative agreements for others.

The master contract -- which expires July 23, 2006 -- covers tire production plants in Akron, Ohio; Des Moines, Iowa; La Vergne, Tenn.; and Oklahoma City, Okla., plus BFS Diversified Products LLC's tube plant in Russellville, Ark., and air spring factory in Noblesville, Ind.

"Tentative agreements also have been reached for the maintenance group located in the LaVergne plant and for tire plants in Bloomington, Ill., and Warren County, Tenn.," say BFNT officials.

Bloomington and Warren County operate under separate deals.

"It has been our goal throughout this process to achieve contracts that are in the best interests of both parties and we believe these agreements are reflective of that goal," say BFNT officials.

"We now look forward to union membership ratifying these tentative agreements, a process which will likely take several days."

A BFNT spokesman told this afternoon that union executives at the Warren County plant are urging workers there to vote against ratification.

Workers have been operating under a day-to-day contract for more than two years.

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