January 3, 2007
Striking Goodyear workers return to the job
Akron, Ohio – The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company has announced that striking workers have begun returning to work at 16 plants represented by the United Steelworkers (USW). Production at the affected tire and engineered products plants will ramp up over the next few weeks; a full supply of Goodyear products is expected to be available soon afterwards.
The workers returned to the job after a master contract was ratified by USW members on December 29, 2006. Provisions of the three-year contract provide Goodyear with the ability to achieve up to US$610 million in cost savings over its term, and US$300 million a year in ongoing savings. The agreement also provides the transfer of responsibility for all current and future retiree health care liabilities for the USW workforce to a trust, reducing a significant portion of the company’s legacy costs.
The master contract gives Goodyear the ability to reduce excess high-cost manufacturing capacity, lower legacy costs, improve productivity and source product globally. It also provides for investment of US$550 million over three years in USW facilities to make them more efficient and productive, and provides improved job security for the vast majority of the company’s 12,600-member USW workforce. The company will close its Tyler, Texas plant after December 31, 2007, eliminating nine million units of high-cost tire capacity for annual savings of approximately US$50 million. Goodyear has also agreed to profit sharing of up to US$30 million by 2010, and the restoration of pension service, at a cost of approximately US$13 million per year.