Akron, Ohio – Goodyear Tire & Rubber is blaming weak sales for its decision to slow production at its consumer tire plant in Union City, Tennessee.

Starting July 6, the plant will move from a continuous operating schedule to a five-day, three-shift operation.

In early May, United Steelworkers union members at the plant ratified a labour agreement permitting the schedule change. Approximately 550 workers will receive buyout packages as part of the change.

The plant can produce about 12 million consumer tires a year for the original equipment and replacement markets, and currently employs about 2,300 workers.

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