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|03-26-03: Strike looms at Goodyear
|By LANCE MIHM
The Daily Standard
ST. MARYS - Union members at the Goodyear Tire and Rubber Co. Molded
Plant in St. Marys are voting on a possible strike.
Members of United Steel Workers Local 200 are voting on whether to
allow union officials to call for a strike if they are dissatisfied with the outcome of
employee contract negotiations with plant officials. The vote began after a meeting Sunday
and concludes today.
"This vote is just to give the authority to strike if it came to
that," union representative Gary McMullin of St. Marys said. "It doesn't mean
that a strike is eminent."
Contract negotiations with union and company employees began March 13,
McMullin said, with each side submitting proposals for the other side to review. Officials
are negotiating over salary, work rules, pension plans and insurance. Fourteen plants
nationwide are involved in the negotiations.
If an agreement is not met by midnight April 19, union terms say a
strike could begin if union members vote to proceed.
McMullin would not confirm that a recent slew of employees retiring
from the St. Marys plant is due to the pending negotiations, but said it was possible.
"I can't speak for other people," McMullin said. "I have
not discussed it with any of them. But I assume people are thinking it might be the best
time to get out."
Goodyear officials were not available to give exact numbers on workers
applying for retirement prior to negotiations beginning this month.
Results from the vote should be available Thursday, McMullin said.
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