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|04-18-03: Strike deadline extended
|By SEAN RICE
The Daily Standard
The policy committee of the union representing employees at Goodyear
Tire & Rubber Co., in St. Marys, has voted to extend the strike deadline on a
Local members of the United Steelworkers of America (USWA), Local 200,
voted last month to set an April 19 deadline to settle negotiations with Goodyear. Union
officials announced Thursday the deadline is extended because the company indicated a
willingness to negotiate using a proposed "survival plan."
A news release from the steelworkers states that using the union's
survival plan is a non-traditional approach, and it may take time to turn the plan into
firm and enforceable contract language.
Officials involved with the negotiations could not be reached for
comment because of the Good Friday holiday. The union's current six-year contract expires
"With the union plan serving as the basis for these negotiations,
the union negotiating committee will continue working toward an agreement that ensures the
stability of our jobs, benefits, the security of our active and retiree families, and USWA
manufacturing facilities in North America," the release states.
The strike deadline moves forward on a day-to-day basis, and the
extension can be canceled by either party with 72 hours notice.
The local union represents 525 employees. Contract talks between the
union and company officials are taking place in Cincinnati. The talks being conducted
involve about 16,000 steelworkers at 14 Goodyear plants.
The union chose the Goodyear negotiations to create a "master
contract" to be applied to all other steelworkers working in the plastics and rubber
industry, in companies such as Bridgestone-Firestone and Michelin.
Union officials had reported earlier this week that negotiations were
not going well and that the company's wage proposal would "put the workers back into
the early 1980s compensation-wise."
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