With the backdrop of an uncertain economy, shrinking unions and company cost-cutting, Goodyear and the Steelworkers are negotiating on a new national contract covering 8,000 tire workers at six plants.
The first round of talks in Cincinnati ended Thursday and recessed.
With the contract between the Akron-based Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. and United Steelworkers of America expiring July 27, both sides have plenty of time and indicated the talks would be in recess until June while they evaluate each other’s opening positions.
There’s been no talk of a strike, and it wasn’t clear if the union would use the talks as a pattern for negotiations this summer with tire makers Bridgestone- Firestone and Michelin- BFGoodrich. Those contracts expire the same day.
Steelworkers struck Goodyear for three months in 2006.
The last time the national contract for Goodyear’s union workforce expired in 2009, the nation was struggling to rebound from the Great Recession and unemployment was 9.4 percent. Goodyear lost $375 million that year.
The unemployment rate in March in the U.S. fell to a four-year low of 7.6 percent.