USW condemns Goodyear's announced plant closure

Oct. 30, 2006

The United Steelworkers (USW) has strongly condemned Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co.'s decision to announce a plant closing during strike negotiations as "counter productive and a further example of the management’s foolish notion that believes it can shrink a company to prosperity."

Goodyear today reported plans to close its Tyler, Texas, facility (see related Web item "Goodyear announces plans to close its Tyler plant).

"Goodyear talks about a contract that's fair, but cannot bring themselves to acknowledge how all the other stakeholders in the company have benefited from Goodyear's turnaround except our members," said USW International President Leo Gerard.

“Now they seem committed to stripping away health care benefits from those who made the turnaround possible and to further close plants and abandon the business,” said USW vice president Tom Conway, who is serving as the union's chairman in the negotiations with Goodyear.

"How do you talk about saving American manufacturing and at the same time close another facility?" asked Conway. “How can this company make claims that cheap imports are hurting them when the truth is they are intent on abandoning their markets, and refusing to stand and fight for their market and the business?”

"When you talk out of both sides of your mouth, sooner or later you end up eating your words," said USW executive vice president Ron Hoover, the long-time USW-Goodyear coordinator.

"The company wants to steal from us the innovations we brought to the table in 2003 and the sacrifices made by all of our members and retirees since."