Union calls Goodyear offer 'unacceptable'

July 1, 2003

"We broke off negotiations after rejecting what the company termed a 'final offer,'" says a United Steelworkers of America (USWA) spokesman in reference to the union's negotiations with Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co., that ended this past Friday. "No further talks are scheduled."

USWA and Goodyear officials hoped to have reached a tentative labor agreement by that date but broke off talks when a deal did not materialize.

"The company refused to make any real commitment to job security at the plants."

Contracts expired at 11 Goodyear plants in April; contracts at the tiremaker's three Kelly factories are set to expire on July 6.

Goodyear also wanted to "slash" health care benefits for current employees and retirees, "and made no commitment to eliminate excessive layers of management," says the spokesperson.

Though unionized Goodyear employees are still working under a day-to-day contract, the USWA has "made preparations for a strike."

However, union officials maintain "there are a number of contingency plans we're prepared" to execute.

Union officials are currently relaying information about the negotiations back to workers at Goodyear plants.

Both sides had been talking in Cincinnati, Ohio, since April.