AKRON—Now that the polls have closed across 12 United Steelworkers locals, one word sums up the new master agreements the unions ratified with their respective companies: Stability.
The USW passed new master agreements with Goodyear, Bridgestone Americas Inc. and Sumitomo Rubber USA L.L.C., covering more than 11,000 workers at 12 U.S. facilities. All three deals expire on July 29, 2022, provide each site with significant wage increases and help keep health care costs manageable.
"We concluded negotiations with good agreements," said Stan Johnson, USW international secretary treasurer. "We have done a lot of work over the last several years pursuing trade cases that we think had contributed substantially to the success the companies had. We went into these negotiations with the assumptions that we would come out with good agreements and I think the overall ratification votes in all three contracts proved that indeed that did happen."
Goodyear's deal covers about 7,200 workers at five sites—Local 2 in Akron; Local 12 in Gadsden, Ala.; Local 307 in Topeka, Kan.; Local 831 in Danville, Va.; and Local 959 in Fayetteville, N.C. The unions finished ratification on Aug. 24 with the deal passing by a 3-to-1 margin, and bring each site "significant wage increases," according to a Goodyear news release.
"We are pleased with the overwhelming approval of USW members on our contract, building on the strong partnership that Goodyear and the union have established over many years," Jim Allen, vice president of global labor relations, said in a statement. "This labor agreement positions both Goodyear and the USW for future success."
Bridgestone's contract covers more than 3,000 employees at six sites—Local 7 in Akron; Local 310 in Des Moines, Iowa; Local 787 in Bloomington, Ill.; Local 884 in Russellville, Ark.; Local 1055 in La Vergne, Tenn.; and Local 1155 in Warren County, Tenn.—according to a company spokeswoman.
"This outcome was reached following a lengthy and respectful negotiation process, resulting in a mutually satisfactory agreement for both parties that will benefit our teammates and the manufacturing facilities involved," Bridgestone said in a statement.