Goodyear Reaches Tentative Deal with Steelworkers

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Dealers depending on Goodyear and Dunlop off-road and motorcycle tires should see no lapse in product availability now that Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. says it has reached a tentative agreement with the United Steelworkers (USW) union on a new contract covering about 10,300 employees at seven tire plants in the United States.

The previous three-year labor agreement had been extended twice, with the most recent extension set to expire at midnight on August 29. The company and union had been negotiating since June 8, and union workers were prepared to strike had a deal not been reached. Instead, the USW is expected to schedule ratification votes at all seven plants this week.

Akron, Ohio-based Goodyear operates more than 60 plants in 25 countries and employs about 70,000 people. The company produces tires under the Goodyear, Dunlop, Kelly, Fulda and various other Goodyear-owned house brands as well as under private-label brands.

Facilities covered by the tentative Goodyear/USW agreement are in Akron, Ohio; Buffalo, N.Y.; Danville, Va.; Fayetteville, N.C.; Gadsden, Ala.; Topeka, Kan.; and Union City, Tenn. Motorcycle tires are produced in Buffalo, race tires are produced Akron, and off-road tires are produced in Topeka.

Goodyear on July 30 reported a second quarter net loss of $253 million, down compared to net income of $93 million during the same three-month period in 2008. Net sales for the recently ended second quarter plunged 25 percent to $3.94 billion from $5.24 billion in the year ago quarter.

—Submitted by Guido Ebert