PITTSBURGH (July 27) — The United Steelworkers announced that while workers at four U.S. plants owned by Goodyear have given their approval to a tentative agreement with a purchaser of the company's Engineered Products division, "outstanding issues" still need to be resolved before a contract is finalized.
Those issues are the subject today of continuing talks between the USW International and the Carlyle Group, the private equity firm seeking to buy the nontire rubber product business for about $1.4 billion, the Pittsburgh-based union said July 27.
The agreement was approved by USW members at Local 200 in St. Marys, Ohio; Local 286 in Lincoln, Neb.; Local 904 in Sun Prairie, Wisc.; and Local 843 in Marysville, Ohio. More than 1,600 workers are represented by the union at the four facilities.
The Carlyle Group has been negotiating with Goodyear to acquire the division since announcing its intent back in March, but needs to first reach a new labor agreement with the USW because of a successorship clause in the current contract, which was approved late last year.
The language requires any potential buyer to recognize the workers' collective bargaining representative and to negotiate a new contract prior to finalizing any sale. If the sale is finalized, Carlyle will continue to produce Goodyear brands of hoses, belts and other products under the name of EPD Inc.