By Oliver Hall
Goodyear has tied up a four-year labour contract with US workers – which also prevents six plants from being closed.
The largest US tyres manufacturer confirmed that the contract was ratified by members of the United Steelworkers union at seven plants.
The agreement, which expires in July 2013 and covers 10,300 employees, addresses productivity, pay and “flexibility” issues.
The contract was approved by an overwhelming majority of the membership and a majority of the plants,” said Kevin Johnsen, USW contract coordinator during negotiations.
Goodyear posted a second-quarter loss of $221 million in July and has cut 5,500 positions since the beginning of the year.
The company sold 184.5 million tyres last year, and plans to cut production by as many as 25 million tyres in two years.
The United Steelworkers said the latest agreement calls for $600 million to be invested in the factories covered by the contract.
The six factories protected from closure during the life of the contract, the union said, are in Akron, Ohio; Buffalo, New York; Danville, Virginia; Fayetteville, North Carolina; Gadsden, Alabama; and Topeka, Kansas.
The factory not protected against closure is Union City, Tennessee. According to its website, Goodyear has a total of 23 plants in the US.