Goodyear Union Workers Vote In Favor Of Agreement - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

12/28/07-Tyler

Goodyear Union Workers Vote In Favor Of Agreement

The votes have been counted and it's official--Goodyear's Tyler plant will stay open another year. United Steelworkers throughout the nation have been on strike for the past 12 weeks. At the center of the strike, Goodyear's plan to shut down the Tyler plant. Late last week, Goodyear and the union reached a tentative agreement that would allow the plant to stay open until at least the end of next year. Thursday night,  union workers nationwide unanimously passed the agreement with all 12 unions voting for it.

As for the Tyler plant, two thirds of workers voted "yes." This means the Tyler plant will stay open another year and employees will go back to work January 2, 2007. 

Tim McCauley, a 3-year Goodyear worker, says "I think it's fair. It's not the best deal, but it's fair, so basically we just need to go forward."

Lee Flowers, who's worked at Goodyear 33 years, says "you never get what you want. It's like a child at Christmas. You never get everything you want, but you accept what you get, make the best of it, that's all we can do."

 And Gregory Ford, a 12-year employees, "it's the inevitable. We're to the point right now where we have to make a decision. Goodyear has already decided to close our plant, so they're extending our life for another year, so it's just a great opportunity to go back in, work another year, get another year's pay, and wrap it up from there."

In addition to keeping the Tyler plant open another year, the deal will also add one billion dollars to retiree benefits.  That's a figure some union workers say they are pleased with and it comes just in time. If the agreement didn't pass, workers would have lost those benefits by January 3, 2007.

Tracy Watler/Reporting: tracy@kltv.com.        

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