PITTSBURGH, Pa. (Dec. 15) — The United Steelworkers union and Goodyear plan to return to formal negotiations Dec. 18, more than one month after they held their last bargaining session.
The USW announced today Goodyear offered to return to the negotiating table with the union for meaningful negotiations, and after consulting with its Goodyear bargaining committee, the union accepted. The Akron tire maker confirmed the union´s announcement.
Bargaining is scheduled to resume in Pittsburgh for the first time since Nov. 16, when union negotiators walked out of contract talks; previous formal discussions, including those before the USW called a strike against Goodyear on Oct. 5, were held in Cincinnati.
The Steelworkers said that the its national Day of Action, organized with other AFL-CIO unions at Goodyear retailers at 150 sites throughout North America as part of its corporate campaign against the company, will go forward as planned.
The USW called the strike at 16 Goodyear sites in the U.S. and Canada, affecting about 15,000 workers. The three-year master contract agreement between Goodyear and the union, covering more than 12,000 workers at 12 U.S. plants, expired July 22.
The Steelworkers walked out over a series of issues, the most noteworthy being job security and retiree health benefits. Goodyear announced after the strike began it was closing its Tyler, Texas, tire facility by next summer.
The union claims the one-time contribution of $660 million to a trust to fund retiree medical health care isn´t enough to pay the company's obligations in the long-term. Goodyear´s offer also proposed diverting $1 of future cost-of-living allowances to the trust, with the option of directing profit sharing funds there as well.