Pittsburgh -Â The United Steelworkers (USW) has announced that new agreements covering 5200 members at eight Bridgestone-Firestone (BFS) facilities have been ratified. Some 52 percent of the membership covered by the master contract voted to accept the tentative agreement which was reached on April 4, while separate pacts at Warren County, Tennessee and Bloomington, Illinois passed by 3:2 and 3:1 margins respectively.
The master contract covers workers at four tyre manufacturing sites in Akron; Des Moines, Iowa; LaVergne, Tenn.; and Oklahoma City; a Firestone tube plant in Russellville, Arkansas; and a Firestone air spring plant in Noblesville, Indiana.
â€œThe new contracts fall in line with the pattern agreements negotiated at BFGoodrich/Michelin and Goodyear,â€ said USW executive vice president Ron Hoover. â€œQuality health care coverage was maintained for active members and retirees alike, cost-of-living allowances were preserved and pension benefits were improved.â€
The three-year contract will run until 18 July, 2009 and provide closure protection to the plants in Warren County, Des Moines and Lavergne as well as $100 million in investments. Please note that the LaVergne, Tennessee plant will become a protected facility if, and when, it adopts an incentive pay system. It would then become eligible to receive capital investments. Current employees will receive wage-rate protection and the contracts guarantee job protection of at least 90 percent of established levels.
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Press release from USW