PITTSBURGH (April 7)—The United Steelworkers of America union—which represents about 20,000 workers at Goodyear tire and rubber plants in North America—announced today the company is its bargaining target for master contract negotiations this year. Goodyear's position as the largest employer of Steelworkers and the union's decision to make job security via investment in North American plants its top bargaining priority were significant factors in the decision, said John Sellers, USWA executive vice president in charge of the Rubber/Plastics Industry Conference. The Akron-based tire maker was chosen over Michelin North America Inc and Bridgestone Americas Holding Inc. The union said it strongly rejects financially troubled Goodyear's plans to close U.S. facilities and service the North American tire market with tires built abroad. The USWA claims Goodyear—which reported a net loss in 2002 of $1.1 billion—is asking for $915 million in wage and benefits concessions over a three-year span from workers and retirees. Goodyear's six-year master contract with the USWA expires April 19, as does its pact with three Dunlop tire plants. The company's agreement with Kelly-Springfield unit workers lapses July 6.
USWA selects Goodyear as target company in 2003 negotiations
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