United Steelworkers reject Goodyear labor proposal

May 13, 2003

Representatives of the United Steelworkers of America have rejected a labor proposal from Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. that reportedly asks for wage, pension and health benefit concessions.

"Goodyear put what we consider a fair, good faith offer on the table for consideration by the Steelworkers," says Chuck Sinclair, Goodyear's vice president of public relations for North America. "This formal offer is the next logical step in the negotiation process that has continued for two months.

"We would typically not discuss any specifics related to the proposal or the union's response, but would encourage all represented members to seek complete explanation of the offer from their union leadership."

Goodyear's three-year contract with the USWA expired at midnight on April 19 at 11 Goodyear plants, including two former Dunlop Tire Corp. facilities; however, the parties have extended the contract on a day-to-day basis since then.

Goodyear-USWA negotiations represent more than 15,000 union members and 22,000 retirees; they are being conducted in Cincinnati, Ohio.

Not part of the negotiations is the union contract between Goodyear and workers at three former Kelly-Springfield Tire Co. plants in Fayetteville, N.C., Freeport, Ill., and Tyler, Texas. That contract is slated to expire on July 6, 2003.