AKRON (Nov. 17) — The future of formal talks between Goodyear and the United Steelworkers is in limbo Friday as the tire maker said it is open to continuing the discussions while the union indicated they are off.
In a Solidarity Alert letter to members, the USW said the talks this week — the first formal talks since the union called the strike Oct. 5 — did not produce any "real movement."
"Their proposals concerning shutting down a USW plant (in Tyler, Texas) and job reductions at other USW plants, as well as wage cuts for union workers, were also rejected yet again by our bargaining committee," the union said. "The bargaining committee made the decision to leave Cincinnati on Friday. No further talks are scheduled."
A Goodyear spokesman, however, said its negotiators have left the city for the weekend, but they will be back on Nov. 20, prepared to continue discussions.
"We´ll be there on Monday," he said.
A union spokesman said the union sees no point in talking unless the company has "something different to tell us."
He said the union is aware Goodyear representatives will be back on Monday, adding, "Hopefully they´ll come up with some proposals worthy of getting our people back down to meet face to face."
About 15,000 union members are on strike at 16 of Goodyear´s North American plants.