FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. (Oct. 31, 2012)—Members of United Steelworkers Union Local 959 at Goodyear's Fayetteville plant have narrowly approved a tentative temporary agreement allowing Goodyear to offer buyouts to workers near retirement.
Local 959 Vice President Terry Brewington declined to give the vote total, saying only that a majority voted for the agreement. However, the union local's website said members voted 664-595 in favor of the pact.
Goodyear said it would offer up to 224 buyouts, Brewington said. The company is already offering buyouts to workers, and will do so until Nov. 5, he said.
“This helps out our retirees,” Brewington said. “It lets them go out with a $50,000 bonus.” Otherwise, the company would have laid off new hires to achieve its goal of reducing the Fayetteville work force, he said.
If Goodyear doesn't obtain all the buyouts it wants, the union will do volunteer layoffs, according to Brewington. There have been volunteer layoffs at Fayetteville before, he said; in April 2010, Local 959 allowed about 30 such layoffs.
Goodyear announced in early October that it wanted to reduce production at Fayetteville because of lower demand. Opened in 1969, the Goodyear Fayetteville plant employs about 2,900 and has a daily capacity of 38,000 passenger and light truck tires.