AKRON (Nov. 7) — The leader of the United Steelworkers union joined with John Edwards, former senator and vice presidential candidate, to fire up striking USW Local 2 members at a rally on Saturday.
United Steelworkers President Leo Gerard told the several hundred in attendance at the Local 2 union hall that the company would rather "dictate than negotiate. They'd rather try to make the contract worse than improve it. They'd rather try to bust the union by threatening us with scabs, rather than sit and help us get an equitable agreement."
The USW president also said he wants Goodyear to remember what the union did to bail them out in 2003. "Goodyear's picked the wrong fight with the wrong union at the wrong time," Gerard said.
For his part, Edwards said he takes this fight personally, because his mother, father and other family members have health care because of unions. "This is a just and righteous cause," he said. "You stood up and made huge concessions for this company in 2003. You did what was right and it´s time to make Goodyear do what's right."
More than 15,000 USW members have been on strike at 16 Goodyear locations in the U.S. and Canada since Oct. 5.