Goodyear Retirees Rally To Maintain Retirement Benefits - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

10/17/06-Tyler

Goodyear Retirees Rally To Maintain Retirement Benefits

As a hearty breakfast menu sizzles on the fire an assembly line of Goodyear retirees is hoping the benefits they currently receive are not at stake.

"Our co-pay would be more. We probably wouldn't have any insurance," says USW Retiree Club President Burnis Manoy.

"A promise made to retirees should be a promise kept," says Tyler Senator Kevin Eltife to a room of retirees at a rally following the breakfast. It was followed by an applause.

Officials at the rally reiterated their steadfast position to keep the Tyler facility open.

Something Charles Jones, who put in 37 years at the plant, says they deserve to see.

"To Goodyear we're just a number. We bailed them out in 2003 and it seems like they have a short memory," says Jones.

"At least give us respect for all those years we put in and made Goodyear a multi-million dollar company--over the 30 something years I was involved I know," adds retiree Sylvester Robinson.

Gale Nixon says his 28 years at the plant helped raise a family. His fear is that the Goodyear employees on strike will not be able to do the same.

"I feel for the guys that work. I go to church with one and he's looking for a job because he has a family to feed. I get very concerned for those guys," says a tearful Nixon.

As the Goodyear strike reaches its day 13 mark, step by step, current and former workers are in it for the long haul.

"We're not going to back up and we're not going to stop," says Tyler USW President Jim Wansley.

Wansley says negotiations going on right now involve, mostly, benefits for current workers.

Until that is settled it's hard to say exactly how retiree benefits will be affected if there is a plant closure.

Christine Nelson reporting. cnelson@kltv.com

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