PITTSBURGH, Aug. 24, 2017 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The United Steelworkers (USW) today said that the members of Locals 2L, 12L, 307L, 831L and 959L have ratified a new collective bargaining agreement with Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company on behalf of about 7,200 workers at tire plants in Akron, Ohio; Danville, Va.; Fayetteville, N.C.; Gadsden, Ala.; and Topeka, Kan., by a three-to-one margin.
USW International Vice President Tom Conway, who chairs the union's Goodyear negotiations, credited workers' solidarity throughout the bargaining process for a contract that achieved the goals the membership identified as important.
"We were able to negotiate the best contract in recent memory because our membership was united, and from the outset, our priorities were clear," Conway said. "We are always strongest when we speak with one voice, and we proved once again that we can accomplish great things when we stand together."
The five-year contract includes significant wage improvements, retains Cost of Living Adjustments (COLA), closes gaps between labor grade tiers and extends plant protection guarantees that none of the plants will close during the term of the agreement.
The contract also includes a commitment from Goodyear to invest in the future of the facilities to enhance the long term job security of the union workforce; maintains quality, affordable healthcare; and resolves a variety of local issues.
USW-Goodyear Contract Coordinator Kevin Johnsen, a Staff Representative in District 9, praised the local union leadership for keeping everyone on the same page, even when bargaining progress was slow.
"Our leadership earned the faith and trust of our members by communicating truthfully and regularly during negotiations," Johnsen said. "The local union officers, bargaining committee members and volunteer activists deserve tremendous credit for stepping up and delivering support when we needed it."
The newly ratified agreement will expire at 6 p.m. on July 29, 2022.
The USW represents 850,000 men and women employed in metals, mining, pulp and paper, rubber, chemicals, glass, auto supply and the energy-producing industries, along with a growing number of workers in public sector and service occupations.