LEXINGTON, Ky. (Aug. 17, 2009)—Michelin North America Inc.'s BFGoodrich tire manufacturing unit and the United Steelworkers have reached a tentative agreement on a new master contract.
The two sides reached accord in Lexington early on the morning of Aug. 15, not long after a midnight deadline had been extended 24 hours, according to the USW's BFG negotiations Web site.
No details as to the settlement of the major contract issues or local voting dates have been released yet, but in a statement Michelin said the agreement “meets the terms the company believes are necessary to retain its competitive posture and to help improve the viability of the BFGoodrich tire manufacturing plants going forward.”
The original three-year contract covering about 3,200 workers at three BFG plants in Fort Wayne, Ind.; and Tuscaloosa and Opelika, Ala., expired July 18, then was extended another four weeks. The new contract, if ratified, will cover about 2,500 union members at the Fort Wayne and Tuscaloosa sites, the company said. The Opelika facility is scheduled to close in the fall.
Last week, Goodyear and the USW extended their contract a second time to Aug. 29 while negotiations continued in Cincinnati. Bridgestone Americas Inc. extended its contract with the Steelworkers on a day-to-day basis as talks continue in Louisville, Ky.
The original three-year Goodyear and Bridgestone contracts lapsed July 18 as well.