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Goodyear settlement averts scheduled stoppage.

A scheduled work stoppage at Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. was averted when members of the United Rubber Workers accepted a settlement proposal that included an immediate wage increase, unlike the earlier proposal they rejected. Under the 3-year accord, the 25cent-an-hour immediate increase is an advance against possible future quarterly adjustments under the cost-ofliving formula. As under the 1985 contract, the formula is 1 cent an hour for each 0.26-point movement in the Bureau of Labor Statistics Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (1967 = 100).

In addition to the guaranteed wage increase, another change from the rejected offer was the addition of a provision for reopening negotiations on wages-with no right to strike-in March 1990. The approved contract also provides for restoration of a provision in the 1985 contract requiring that a majority of employees must approve "economic adjustments" or "givebacks" by individual local unions at any of the 11 plants.

National leaders of the Rubber Workers had backed the first settlement, contending that Goodyear's resources were limited because of the costs incurred fighting off a 1986 takeover by British financier Sir James Goldsmith.

In the benefits area, pension rates for future retirees were increased to $23.50 a month for each year of credited service, from $20. The rates for current retirees were increased by 50 cents.

The parties also moved to induce employees to shift into the comprehensive health care program by liberalizing the savings plan available to program participants. Under the new approach, Goodyear will contribute to the account of each participant an amount equal to 50 percent (formerly 25 percent) of the employee's investment. Employees covered by the alternate medical necessitymajor medical health insurance plan are now also eligible for the savings plan, without any company contribution on their behalf.

Other terms for the 15,000 employees include improvements in the benefits provided by the health plans; $20,000 accidental or dismemberment insurance (was $17,000); $250 a week sickness and accident benefits (was $225); and company payment of child adoption expenses up to $750.

Following the settlement, the Rubber Workers and Firestone Tire & Rubber Co. settled on similar terms for 4,700 workers at facilities in Akron, OH; Noblesville, IN; Des Moines, IA; Decatur, IL; Russellville, AR; and Oklahoma City, OK. This settlement ended a 1 -week work stoppage. Elsewhere in the industry, Uniroyal -Goodrich Rubber Co. and the union settled on noneconomic terms; they had settled on economic terms prior to the Goodyear contract (see Monthly Labor Review, May 198 8, p. 56).
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Author:Ruben, George
Publication:Monthly Labor Review
Date:Jul 1, 1988
Previous Article:Teamsters accept contract despite opposition.
Next Article:State accord advocates onsite child care.

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