PITTSBURGH (July 15, 2009) — The United Steelworkers union and two tire makers have extended contracts as bargaining continues among the parties.
Three-year pacts with Goodyear and Michelin's BFGoodrich tire unit were extended to 12:01 a.m. on Aug. 15. The agreements were set to expire July 18.
The Goodyear/USW contract covers about 10,300 workers at the company's plants in Akron; Buffalo, N.Y.; Danville, Va.; Fayetteville, N.C.; Gadsden, Ala.; Topeka, Kan.; and Union City, Tenn. The BFG pact covers about 3,200 workers in Fort Wayne, Ind.; Tuscaloosa, Ala.; and Opelika, Ala., though the Opelika site is scheduled to close by the end of October.
Talks between Goodyear and the USW continue in Cincinnati. "We remain confident that we will reach an agreement that is acceptable to both sides," said Jim Allen, Goodyear's chief negotiator.
BFG and union representatives are meeting in Lexington, Ky.
There is no word yet as to whether a similar extension is forthcoming from USW/Bridgestone Americas talks in Louisville, Ky. Strike votes have been taken by local members and a strike, if necessary, was overwhelmingly approved. Like the other pacts, the BFS contracts representing about 4,500 workers expire July 18.