USW: We will monitor possible sale of Goodyear's Engineered Products division

Sept. 21, 2005

The United Steelworkers (USW) plan to closely monitor Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co.'s exploration of the sale of its Engineered Products business.

Yesterday, Goodyear announced that it had engaged JPMorgan Securities Inc. and Goldman Sachs & Co. as financial advisors to explore such a sale. The USW represents 2,250 members at seven Goodyear engineered products facilities in North America.

"Goodyear has been straight-forward in telling us that it wants to explore this avenue," says USW Executive Vice President Ron Hoover. "We are certain they will inform all interested buyers of the contractual language that protects our members and the Union in the case of any possible sale."

The current agreement between Goodyear and the USW contains what is referred to as "successorship" language; if the company is looking to sell its engineered products business to a buyer, that buyer is required to recognize the USW as the workers' bargaining representative.

In addition, the proposed buyer must negotiate a new labor contract with the USW prior to completing its purchase with Goodyear.

"While the prospect of change always breeds anxiety for workers in these type of scenarios, our members need to know that they will be vigorously represented in the course of any possible transaction," adds Hoover.

The USW is part of the United Steel, Paper and Forestry, Rubber, Manufacturing, Energy, Allied Industrial and Service Workers International Union.