The United Steel Workers (USW) announced that it has reached agreements with Bridgestone-Firestone (BFS) covering 5,200 workers at eight BFS facilities.
USW members at six BFS sites ratified the three-year master contract that was tentatively agreed to on April 4, 2007. These include four tire manufacturing sites in Akron, OH, Des Moines, IA, LaVergne, TN, and Oklahoma City, as well as a Firestone tube plant in Russellville, AR, and a Firestone air spring plant in Noblesville, IN.
Separate agreements were reached with workers at plants in WarrenCounty, TN, and Bloomington, IL.
Provisions in the new deal include a $23-million plant-closure package, with active employees agreeing to divert the first $1 of cost-of-living increases to help defray retiree health care costs.
“The new contracts fall in line with the pattern agreements negotiated at BFGoodrich-Michelin and Goodyear,” said USW executive vice-president Ron Hoover. “Quality health care coverage was maintained for active members and retirees alike, cost-of-living allowances were preserved and pension benefits were improved. Otherwise the company would have instituted premium costs that would have been devastating to retired members.”