Goodyear Employees Strike: Tyler Plant's Future Uncertain - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

10/5/06-Tyler

Goodyear Employees Strike: Tyler Plant's Future Uncertain

Union workers we spoke with say it could be several days before both sides regroup and come back to the table to start the negotiations again.

They've been picketing since the deadline passed at noon, but workers felt the strike was inevitable earlier than that. They began assembling at union hall around ten this morning waiting for the bad news which was to come.

Bud Allred, Local 746 treasurer says, "It's pretty gut wrenching. It's become real. I'm in great shape, but there are those who are living paycheck to paycheck who are working here. It's going to affect them today. There are bills that are going to go unmet and stresses on families that are just going to be tremendous.

The negotiations were ongoing to the last minute, but when the two sides were too far apart, everything came to a screeching halt.

By phone, Local 746 president Jim Wansley told us,  "Today, Goodyear in their last offer annouced they wanted to close the Tyler plant, and that  was unacceptable to the steelworkers.  We will not have a contract that does not have Tyler in it."

Some people have enough in savings to survive several months without work, but others like Jim Taylor will have to figure something else out.

"If the contract drags on for two or three weeks, I'll look for work some other place," says Taylor.

Healthcare and retirement issues were also up for negotiation, but nothing was more important to those in Tyler than the future of this plant. They are all very thankful that the rest of the union is standing with them.

"I would be willing to do it for them.  I couldn't be more proud of them. I couldn't be more proud of them," says Allred.

Lindsay Wilcox/Reporting: lwilcox@kltv.com

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