Union Ad Attacks Tire Safety - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

11/22/06-Tyler

Union Ad Attacks Tire Safety

The ad plays on every parents fears.

"When a major tire company used replacement workers during a strike, it led to labor strife and defective tires that helped create the Ford rollover disaster; a disaster linked by the federal government to 271 fatalaties.  Now, Goodyear is using replacement workers to build it's tires. What tire do you plan to buy?"

Union workers like Jim Wansley say building tires is a complex process which can't be learned over night.

"We literally have jobs that, sometimes it takes a year for someone to become truly proficient and good at, and a lot of those jobs are supported by an experienced crew," says Wansley.

Goodyear Corporate says there's been absolutely no compromise on the quality of its tires since calling in replacement workers.

Ed Markey, a Goodyear spokesman says, "One of the nations leading, independent quality auditors recently conducted full audits of three of our strike-affected plants, since the strike began, and found our systems to be in 100% compliance to international quality standards."

We took the question of quality to Randy Roberts. He's the Tyler lawyer who sued Firestone and Ford when the tires failed, killing his client's 14 year old daughter. He says in that case, the problem was two fold.

"There was a design flaw in the formula used to make the rubber compound that holds the tire together.  The manufacturing process was supposed to catch that," says Roberts.

Roberts says during the course of the trial, there was never any mention of replacement workers being the source of the problem. He did say even more defective tires would have been on the road were it not for skilled workers who caught and discarded many of them.

"Does the quality of the training, experience and skill of the tire worker make a difference in what the consumer ultimately receives? You bet it does," says Roberts.

Lindsay Wilcox/Reporting: lwilcox@kltv.com

 

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