BFNT's Emkes on contract talks: 'We will not jeopardize our company'

April 26, 2006

Bridgestone Americas Holding Inc. Chairman and CEO Mark Emkes says the company is committed to "open and honest" contract talks with the United Steelworkers.

"We want to achieve a fair and equitable agreement for both the company and our people who are USW members.

"However, it's still a mystery to me as to why the very people who claim they're dedicated to finding a fair solution continue to do things that contradict that. For example, why would someone whose job depends on making the tires we sell... try to convince our customers to buy someone else's product?"

Bridgestone/Firestone's contract negotiation strategy is clear, says Emkes.

"We will not agree to anything that jeopardizes the future of our company or our business, and that includes our ability to make money.

"We're living in a global environment that demands greater efficiencies, quicker reactions to market conditions and the flexibility to make the kind of responsible business decisions that can effectively respond to the competitive demands of the marketplace. Our ability to do so is critical to our survival."

Bridgestone/Firestone's labor contract with the union expires later this year.