KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (July 24) — Negotiators for Michelin North America Inc.´s BFGoodrich tire manufacturing unit and the United Steelworkers union have extended the master contract agreement until midnight July 25 as the two sides work towards a new pact.
The union and company mutually agreed to a 48-hour extension, which will end at midnight on July 25, BFG said. The current contract expired at midnight on July 22, but the two sides extended the contract 24 hours to midnight July 23. Negotiators then extended the contract a second time, this time an extra 48 hours.
The expiring contract covers about 3,400 hourly workers at BFG tire plants in Tuscaloosa and Opelika, Ala. and Fort Wayne, Ind. The USW selected BFG as the tire industry bargaining target for 2006 negotiations on June 30.
Contracts between the Steelworkers and Goodyear and Bridgestone/Firestone also expired July 22, but the Goodyear contract was extended on a day-to-day basis. The BFS/USW master contract was not extended, but the two sides have recessed negotiations until the pattern agreement with BFG is established.