PITTSBURGH (June 29) — A nine-man United Steelworkers committee will convene June 30 to select the target company for the 2006 round of pattern bargaining in the tire industry.
The committee will be composed of local union presidents — three each from the policy committees negotiating with Goodyear, Bridgestone/Firestone and Michelin North America Inc.´s BFGoodrich tire manufacturing units. Ron Hoover, USW executive vice president and head of the union´s Rubber/Plastics Industry Conference, will chair the meeting.
Traditionally, after the target company is chosen, negotiations between the union and that tire maker take center stage and the talks among the other firms recess. Once an agreement is reached with the target company, it is used as the pattern for settlement in the negotiations at the other two bargaining tables.
In the 2003 round of negotiations — which stretched into the summer of 2005 — Goodyear was selected as the target and the union and company reached accord in September 2003. However, both BFS and Michelin resisted following the pattern. Locals in the BFG chain eventually ratified a contract in August 2004 and BFS locals ratified their deals in June 2005.
The Steelworkers chose BFS as the target in 2000 and Goodyear in 1997.