AKRON (Dec. 15) — An analyst with Morgan Stanley & Co. Inc. predicts the Goodyear strike may resolve within one to two months as both sides will face pressure to find common ground.
Analyst Jonathan Steinmetz said he visited Goodyear´s Dunlop plant in Buffalo, N.Y. — one of 16 plants in North America affected by the United Steelworkers´ strike since Oct. 5 — to get a sense of the strike´s progress.
"Worker frustration at the current pace of negotiations may speed up the pressure on union management," Steinmetz wrote in a note to investors. "The company also has incentive to come to the table."
Indeed, Steinmetz said Goodyear´s management "may need to show shared sacrifice. We think that (Goodyear´s) CEO Bob Keegan may want to extend an olive branch."
Steinmetz said closing the Tyler, Texas, tire plant is essentially sealed, but he said he sees some room for movement on the health care issue.
He maintained his "equal weight" rating on Goodyear´s stock, and also maintains an "underweight" rating on Cooper Tire & Rubber Co., explaining that if the strike is resolved in the near term, Cooper will "not be able to take share permanently away from (Goodyear)."
A Goodyear spokesman declined to comment on the report and union officials were unavailable for immediate comment.