PITTSBURGH (Aug. 22)—There's still a long way to go before a new master contract is in place for union workers at 14 U.S. Goodyear tire and rubber plants. Negotiators for the Akron tire maker and the United Steelworkers reached a tentative agreement Aug. 20 on a new three-year deal, but now a majority of the plants representing a majority of the workers need to ratify it. That process could take two to three weeks, a USWA spokesman said Aug. 22. The union's bargaining committee is still in Cincinnati—where negotiations took place since March—developing a contract summary to be distributed to the nearly 20,000 workers over the next few days, he said. After the committee leaves Cincinnati, the local presidents will return to their sites and set up informational and, eventually, voting meetings for the members. Officials from Goodyear and the union won't reveal details about the agreement until members have seen the summaries, but part of the deal is that Goodyear's Dunlop plant in Huntsville, Ala., will close, according to USWA Local 915, which represents workers there. There are about 1,300 people, including more than 1,000 USWA members, actively employed in Huntsville. If ratified, the contract also will include a common expiration date for all 14 locals.
USWA: Ratification process could take 2-3 weeks
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