PITTSBURGH (May 26, 2009)—Initial bargaining sessions for the 2009 tire industry master contracts are set to begin the week of June 1.
United Steelworkers negotiating committees will start talks June 1 in Cincinnati with representatives of Goodyear and in Lexington, Ky., with Michelin North America's BFGoodrich unit. A week later on June 8, contract discussions will begin in Louisville, Ky., between the USW and Bridgestone Americas.
The current BFG and Bridgestone contracts, covering about 3,200 and 4,500 workers, respectively, expire July 18. The Goodyear pact, covering about 11,500 workers, lapses July 22.
The Pittsburgh-based USW said it will emphasize job and plant security, investments at unionized plants, retiree benefits, tiered wage scales and health safety in this year's negotiations. Michelin announced in April it will close sometime this fall its Opelika, Ala., tire plant, one of three sites in the BFG chain where the USW represents the hourly workers.