Goodyear Employees Hours Away From Strike - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

10/4/06-Tyler

Goodyear Employees Hours Away From Strike

Goodyear is one of the biggest employers in the Tyler. With nearly 1,100 workers averaging 104 thousand dollars a year in salary, they are an economic force. Tomorrow, they will walk off the job if an agreement is not reached.

Vice President Harold Sweat of USW Local 746 says, "Plant security seems to be one of the main issues that we're concerned about right now, and the company is not willing to give Tyler, Texas the security or the option that we'll be here at the end of 3 years."

High labor costs are forcing Goodyear to close some plants, and they're asking towns like Tyler to put their best foot forward in a sort of bidding war to see which ones will survive.

The city, the state and the private sector have put together an aggressive 87 million dollar plan that they hope will keep Goodyear open. The retention incentive program is made up of 12 million dollars in cash incentives, and 75 million to leaseback production equipment. It's a sort of loan that would help Goodyear with their cash flow.

Senator Kevin Eltife (R) says if the plant closes, everyone will feel the impact.

"The service sector would feel it, because there would be less spending in our economy. All levels of government would feel it. The schoold district would lose three or four million dollars a year in revenue., and I can tell you, it would end up with increased propery taxes for everybody," says Eltife.

If the plant shuts down it will deal a nearly one billion dollar blow to our economy. Those working on the proposal say they've done everything they can to make sure that doesn't happen.

"Is it enough? I don't know. Is it the best we can do? It's the very best we can do," says Eltife.

"We appreciate all of the support that we've received from the community, and from the state. They seem to be willing to help, but at this point, Goodyear is not willing to give us any help," says Sweat. 

Lindsay Wilcox/Reporting: lwilcox@kltv.com

 

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