PITTSBURGH (Oct. 30) — The United Steelworkers union reacted strongly to Goodyear's announcement today that it plans to close its Tyler, Texas, tire factory.
"How do you talk about saving American manufacturing and at the same time close another facility?" asked Tom Conway, a USW vice president who is serving as unions chairman in the negotiations with Goodyear. "How can this company make claims that cheap imports are hurting them when the truth is they are intent on abandoning their markets, and refusing to stand and fight for their market and the business?"
Steelworkers officials also said that the company is ignoring the innovations the union brought to the table during 2003 negotiations and the sacrifices made since by its members and retirees, said Ron Hoover, USW executive vice president. About 15,000 USW members have been striking at 16 Goodyear locations in North America since Oct. 5.
In addition, the USW is disputing Goodyear's claim that the firm can make safe, quality products at the plants using salaried workers while its experienced work force is on strike.