MORRISON, Tenn. (July 21)—United Steelworkers Local 1155 has withdrawn the five-day strike notice it issued July 14 and will revote on Bridgestone/Firestone´s contract proposal from July 21-25.
The union announced it was allowing Local 1155´s more than 700 members to vote again after "serious consideration about the options available" to them, said Billy Dycus, the local´s vice president.
The local had sent notice to the Nashville tire maker saying it would end the day-to-day extension—in force since their previous three-year contract expired in April 2003—at 12:01 a.m. July 22, opening up the door to a strike.
The union will reissue the five-day notice if the contract is not ratified, Dycus said. About 85 percent of voting members rejected the company´s offer on June 17, believing the proposal was substandard for what they do, particularly given the plant´s profitability.
BFS is "encouraged by this development," a company statement said.
USW and BFS negotiators met July 19 in an attempt to find some common bargaining ground before a strike began, but made no progress.
The company reached a contract agreement running through July 23, 2006, with USW members at seven other tire and rubber plants last month. The Warren County plant was included in those negotiations, though Local 1155´s contract is separate from the master contract covering six of the facilities.