Local Business Starts Goodyear Letter Writing Campaign - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

10/22/06-Tyler

Local Business Starts Goodyear Letter Writing Campaign

It's been more than two weeks since 12,000 Goodyear employees went on a nationwide strike. They walked off their jobs after months of failed contract negotiations. One of the major sticking point is the fact that Goodyear will not assure union workers that the Tyler plant will remain open as well as one in Alabama.  A Tyler business is trying to do its part to keep the plant open.

Customers at the Conoco gas station in Lindale came in to fill up, but when they made their way to check out, it wasn't just a credit card receipt they were asked to sign.

More than 250 customers have signed letters to Governor Rick Perry and Lt. Governor David Dewhurst calling on them to do as much as possible to keep the Tyler plant open.  The state has already pledged about $8 million in incentives, but the letter encourages them to do more.  If the plant were to close, it would deal a devastating blow to the local economy.

"Most folks were really excited to help," said store owner Ladana Crews.  "They didn't know what they could do, so they were very glad to have a way to help show support."

Customers like Lolita Green were receptive to signing the letters.  "They need the work because they have families and kids, and they have to pay their house payments, and buy food and clothes and stuff for their families.  They really do need the work," said Green.

Tommy Benson is a loyal customer at the gas station and a long-time employee at Goodyear. He says it's nice to know the community is rallying behind him and his co-workers.  "It makes us real proud of really our fellow Americans," said Benson.

Crew's father recently retired from Goodyear and her brother still works there. She says it's good to see so many people from across East Texas who want to help out.

She also says they will keep petitions on hand until the strike is over, but she thinks they will be most effective in the weeks leading up to the election.

Lindsay Wilcox, Reporting. lwilcox@kltv.com

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