PITTSBURGH—The United Steelworkers union has reached a tentative agreement with Bridgestone Americas Inc. on a new four-year contract, meaning the USW has reached new pacts awaiting ratification with each of the top three tire makers.
The agreement with Bridgestone covers 4,500 workers at six facilities: Akron; Des Moines, Iowa; Russellville, Ark.; LaVergne, Tenn.; Warren County, Tenn., and Bloomington, Ill. Negotiations had been ongoing since June, and the previous contract expired July 27, the USW said in a statement.
"This agreement is a step forward for USW members," said USW Secretary-Treasurer Stan Johnson, who led the negotiations for the union, along with Randy Boulton, Bridgestone-Firestone coordinator. "The committee worked hard to make progress both on economic and non-economic issues and to improve the situation for new hires."
The union said it wouldn't reveal details of the contract until its members vote on it. Ratification votes are expected to take place over the next two weeks.
The USW also has reached tentative master contract agreements covering 8,500 USW members at six Goodyear locations and 2,500 members at two Michelin North America Inc.'s BF Goodrich Tire unit factories.
All the contracts expired July 27 with ratification votes by the individual USW local upcoming.
"It has been our goal to achieve contracts that are in the best interest of approximately 3,500 hourly employees at the company's unionized tire and tube plants, and which allow our company to remain competitive in the global marketplace," Bridgestone Americas said in a statement. "We are pleased with the progress made at the bargaining table and look forward to positive ratification votes and continuing our strong relationship with our employees and union leaders."