NEW YORK (Dec. 1) — The United Steelworkers union has organized a 5 p.m. rally for today in New York outside the Waldorf Astoria Hotel, site of the annual NASCAR Awards Banquet.
The rally — to be attended by unionized Goodyear workers on strike at 16 North American sites and supporters — is geared to raise public awareness about the safety of tires being made at the Goodyear plants by replacement workers, as well as the tire maker´s "disregard for communities the company is abandoning all across North America," the union said.
More than 15,000 USW members went on strike against Goodyear Oct. 5, with job security and retiree health care costs the main sticking points among several issues. The company announced October 30 it would close its Tyler, Texas, tire plant next year, and the two sides haven´t agreed on a dollar amount the company would contribute to help fund the health care for current and future retirees.
The NASCAR awards banquet is the culmination of the racing organization´s end-of-the-year Champions Week. Goodyear is the exclusive tire supplier to NASCAR.
The union´s campaign against Goodyear since the strike began also included handbilling at Goodyear tire stores, public criticism of the company´s use of replacement workers and its borrowing of money to help fund it operations during the strike, and the use of radio and TV advertising to get its message out.
The USW walked away from the bargaining table Nov. 17. No new talks are scheduled.