CINCINNATI (Aug. 14)—Goodyear informed United Steelworkers negotiators Aug. 13 that if a tentative contract agreement isn't reached by "mid-day" Aug. 15, it will begin implementing its cost-cutting plan to improve the company financially. It is not the intention of the company to break off negotiations and it is not giving 72-hour notice to break off the day-to-day extensions unionized employees have been working under for months, a Goodyear spokesman said. However, the Akron tire maker has been holding off on announcing its proposed changes to let the bargaining process take its course, and now believes it must move forward, the spokesman said. He didn't discuss specifics of Goodyear's plan, but the company has made it known it needs to make cost cuts in the $1.5 billion range, including about $915 million in labor concessions over a three-year span. Both sides have said progress has been made during the latest round of talks, but the union still is disappointed on the lack of movement in some of the key contract issues, including job security for the 14 plants covered by the master agreements; financial restructuring; and health care coverage for active and retired USWA members. The company and union have been negotiating in Cincinnati since March 13, not counting the period between June 28 and Aug. 6, when talks were broken off.
Goodyear to announce North American "turnaround" plan if no agreement reached
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