PITTSBURGH (Aug. 23)—Negotiators for Michelin North America Inc.'s BFGoodrich tire manufacturing units and the United Steelworkers of America have reached tentative contract agreements covering about 4,400 union workers at three U.S. and one Canadian plant, the company announced Aug. 20.
The two sides have been trying to work out contracts since July 12 in Pittsburgh. If ratified, the pacts would cover about 3,400 workers at BFGoodrich factories in Tuscaloosa and Opelika, Ala. and Fort Wayne, Ind., and about 1,000 workers in Kitchener, Ontario.
The U.S. union members have been working on day-to-day extension since their master contract expired in April 2003. The Canadian local went on strike June 1.
Details of the agreements will not be disclosed pending ratification by the USWA membership at the four facilities, Michelin said.
"We're pleased to have reached agreements that will provide the framework for making our BFGoodrich Tire Manufacturing plants viable," said Dave Lowe, Michelin North America vice president of labor and employee relations. "These plants provide quality products for our customers and contribute greatly to their local economies. We've achieved pioneering agreements that help provide some of our oldest plants in North America a fighting chance in today's challenging business environment and a very competitive industry."