December 14, 2006

Goodyear National Day of Action Dec. 16

Source: NYSUT News Wire

Mark your calendars - United Steelworker members will hold a National Day of Action Dec. 16 to highlight key issues of its months-long Goodyear strike. Participants will distribute leaflets at 127 stores nationwide that sell Goodyear tires.

Some 15,000 USW members went on strike Oct. 5 after the company refused to scrap plans to close its Tyler, Texas plant. Goodyear also wants to abandon its obligation to provide retiree health care benefits by instead making a one-time payment to a fund.

Event organizers will also highlight how workers came to Goodyear's aid several years ago by taking wage and benefit freezes when the company experienced financial hardship. USW leaders consider the concession requests a slap in the face now that Goodyear is turning a profit, in part, through worker givebacks.

The Tyler closing, affecting 1,100 workers, would be Goodyear's third U.S. plant to shut down in four years. At the same time, the giant tire maker is increasing tire imports from factories in countries such as China that pay workers 42 cents an hour. In the past two years alone, Goodyear has invested $18 million in a plant in China and is increasing production there to 5.3 million tires a year. Visit Day of Action online at aflcio.org to find an event near you.