Goodyear union vote this week to decide US plant future

05 May 2009 05:18  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS news)--Union workers are expected to vote later this week on a plan mapping the fate of Goodyear Tire & Rubber’s Union City plant in Tennessee, Goodyear said on Monday.

Goodyear refused to comment on any terms of a tentative agreement with union officials until after the union votes.

However, a letter outlining the three-phase agreement was obtained by the Jackson Sun in Jackson, Tennessee.

According to Phase 1 of the tentative agreement, buyout offers of $3,000 (€2,250) for each year of service would be extended to 600 employees, who could accept the offers or be laid off, thus keeping their right to be called back later, if needed.

The tentative agreement would also allow Goodyear to reduce the number of factory hours to a five-day work week, reduce the number of tyres being manufactured, or both.

If the first phase does not succeed, Phase 2 would extend buyout offers of $2,000 per year of service to as many as 400 workers.

If the plant was forced to close, the third phase of the agreement would pay remaining workers $25,000 in a lump sum, while also providing vocational training.

If an agreement is not reached with union members, the plant could be closed, the letter said.

The tentative agreement was offered amid the ongoing global economic crises that has seen the sale of tyres collapse.

Goodyear reported a new loss of $333m amid a decline of 20% in tyre sales during the first quarter of 2009, while reducing 3,800 workers around the globe.

($1 = €0.75)

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By: Gene Lockard
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