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Yokohama awaits union ratification of pact

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Yokohama Tire Corp. is awaiting a vote of United Steelworkers (USW) Local 1023 plant members on a tentative labor agreement reached May 16.

The bargaining parties on both sides reached a four-year agreement, which includes, from the USW's point of view, the following:

* a "no closure" agreement for the Salem, Va., manufacturing plant for the life of the agreement.

* a new COLA (cost of living adjustment) structure that will incorporate "all potential gains through cost-of-living... in the base wage rates for day-work employees" and on the outside of the base wage rate for incentive workers.

* the continuation of the union's current pension plan and double disability pension supplements "as is."

* the transfer of the union's FASB (Financial Accounting Standards Board) accrual fund, which was created in 1997, from a book account to a VEBA (Voluntary Employees Beneficiary Association) trust "in order to allow for investment of the funds, and to protect the long-term security of the fund."

(To read the tentative agreement as proposed to USW Local 1023 members, click www.usw1023.org.)

Yokohama's Salem consumer tire plant has the capacity to produce 23,100 tires a day, according to the 2010 Modern Tire Dealer Facts Issue.

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