Union Officials Place Ad In Paper For Goodyear Workers - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

10/20/06-Tyler

Union Officials Place Ad In Paper For Goodyear Workers

Two weeks into the Goodyear strike, the United Steelworkers Union is asking the community for help. An ad in today's Tyler Morning Telegraph asks people to hire Goodyear workers while the strike plays out.  

More than 900 union employees walked out of their jobs after contract negotiations between Goodyear and the union came to a halt over disagreements.  Union officials say the willingness of workers to get other jobs and still picket, shows they're in this for the long run.

"We're trying to struggle to find something that pay our bills, make ends meet," said Goodyear worker Larry Camp, who's worked for the company for the past 15 years.   But the 54-year-old has run out of money since the strike began. "I've got bills to pay just like everybody else," said Camp.

Today, he went to the United Steelworkers Hall to check out the bulletin board, where jobs are being posted, following an ad printed in the paper. Camp's two sons also work at Goodyear, which means this entire family is struggling financially. "It's pretty tight right now. We're all looking. We're all helping each other out," said Daniel Camp.

Larry and his other son, Ashley, ended up finding a temporary job. They're painting a deck for a retired elderly couple. It's a job that's expected to take a day and a half to complete.

"I know how important it is to work and have to have a paycheck every week or every other week," said Martha Elliott, who is having Larry and his son work on her deck.

The jobs up on this bulletin board are mostly temporary jobs, that do not pay close to the $23 an hour Goodyear workers make on average. United Steelworkers contract coordinator Joe Wyatt says at this point workers have no other option. "In our case in particular we don't have a choice because they've said they're going to close this plant down and if we don't get that turned around, then we don't have a job anyway," said Wyatt.

Larry Camp says is he gets a new job, he will still be able to fulfill his picket duties with his peers. "If it don't happen to fall on the day of my picket then we fix it so we can swap with somebody else and I can still come out on my day off and picket," said Larry.

At this point, no meetings are planned between union officials and Goodyear. Workers at Goodyear earn anywhere between $48,000 and $84,000 a year, depending on how many overtime hours they put in.

Union officials say it won't be until after November 1st, that workers will get some financial help from the union. They're expected to get less than $100 worth of gift cards per week for groceries and gasoline.

Oralia Ortega, Reporting.  ortega@kltv.com

 

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