MORRISON, Tenn. (July 14)—Union workers are eyeing a July 22 strike date at Bridgestone/Firestone´s Warren County, Tenn., truck and bus tire plant, unless some late negotiations yield a new agreement.
Nearly 800 members of United Steelworkers Local 1155 plan to walk out at 12:01 a.m. July 22 if no tentative pact is reached with the company, according to Van Tenpenny, the local´s financial secretary. The union needs to give five days written notice on its intent to strike, so it planned on sending its message to the company by July 14 or 15, he said.
Local 1155 members are making strike preparations and getting support from USW International staff in Pittsburgh as well as members from other BFS locals, Tenpenny said.
The two sides haven´t negotiated since 85 percent of voting Local 1155 members rejected the company´s "last, best" offer on June 17. But BFS and the union plan to meet July 19 to find some common bargaining ground, and Local 1155 members still are hopeful about reaching a settlement, Tenpenny said.
BFS did reach contract agreements affecting more than 5,000 workers at seven other company tire and rubber plants last month. The Warren County contingent was among the locals included in the negotiations, although its pact is separate from the master contract covering six of the plants.