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|03-28-03: Workers authorize possible strike
|By LANCE MIHM
The Daily Standard
ST. MARYS - Workers at the Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. plant in St.
Marys overwhelmingly voted to allow their union to strike if ongoing contract negotiations
The vote by members of the United Steel Workers Local 200 was 366-9 in
favor of authorizing a strike. Voting took place Sunday through Wednesday and results were
made public Thursday. The vote did not call for a strike, but authorizes a strike to begin
if negotiations fail, union representative Gary McMullin said.
The union represents 525 workers at the plant in St. Marys. Thirteen
other Goodyear plants nationwide also are going through negotiations. North American Tire,
a division of Goodyear, is handling negotiations for the company.
Neither side would offer any details on the negotiations, but a news
release by the union says recent management decisions by the company have put the future
success of the company at risk. Complaints included frequent leadership changes, decisions
to change work schedules and the lack of long-range planning.
Contract negotiations began March 13 and are still in the infant
stages, according to representatives from the union and the company.
"We are progressing as expected," North American Public
Relations Vice President Chuck Sinclair said this morning. "There are not any target
dates established yet. We expect that to happen late in the first week or early in the
second week of April."
The employees' current contract expires April 19. If an agreement is
not met by midnight April 19, union terms say a strike could begin.
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