ST. LOUIS (Sept. 2)—The United Steelworkers of America decided to keep talking and not walk out following a 12:01 a.m., Sept. 2, strike deadline with Bridgestone/Firestone Inc. "There will be no formal contract extension, but our members at all plants will continue working under the terms and conditions of their expired contract while we see if we can reach an agreement," said USWA President George Becker. The negotiators made progress in the last two days, he said. A Bridgestone/Firestone spokeswoman said the company is encouraged by the progress of the talks. "We appreciate the decision by the union to stay on the job," she said. "There has been much give and take in around-the-clock bargaining. The last contract between the union and tire make followed the longest strike in tire industry history.