AKRON (June 30) – A June 30 letter to Goodyear employees from Jon Rich, president of the company's North American Tire unit, said the tire maker's June 27 contract proposal to its union workers was fair and addressed job security concerns and other important issues. The offer would have provided "unprecedented" job security for the United Steelworkers of America members staffing 14 of Goodyear's tire and rubber plants, but would not guarantee full employment, Rich said. Capacity reduction is one of the "key steps" in Goodyear's return to financial security, he said. The USWA has said it won't agree to a contract that doesn't address job security and future investment at the company's organized North American facilities. Goodyear's offer also included wage and pension increases and health care and prescription drug benefits – with a portion paid by active and retired employees, Rich said. The USWA criticized the company´s last offer, not only regarding health care and job security, but also in its failure to commit to debt restructuring and reduction of excessive mid-management positions, a union spokesman said. However, a Goodyear spokesman said all the issues critical to both sides were addressed in its proposal. Contract talks broke up early the morning of June 28, with no talks scheduled yet for the week of June 30.
Goodyear's Rich: "No labor agreement can guarantee full employment"
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