Strike possible at Fayetteville Goodyear plant
FAYETTEVILLE (WTVD) -- Workers at one of Fayetteville's largest employers are being warned to get ready go on strike.
The Goodyear Tire Company and union officials have been trying to hammer out a new contract agreement since April. The deadline is Saturday night.
It's still business as usual at the plant where workers turn out up to 30,000 tires a day.
There is a silent solidarity among the nearly 2,500 union workers, many of whom privately hope an agreement can be reached before time runs out.
At the union hall Thursday, workers left a briefing without making a comment. For now, they and union officials aren't talking publically.
However, in handouts and on the union's webpage, members are warned to "start to prepare for financial struggles that may lie ahead."
The last strike was in 2006, workers at the Fayetteville plant joined thousands of other Goodyear employees across the country in a three month strike.
According to reports, Goodyear lost $358 million in the last quarter of that year, but, with no paychecks, it was a financial struggle for union members as well. Some crossed picket lines and went back to work.
In 2009, the union and company narrowly averted a strike with an eleventh hour agreement.
This time, both sides remain at odds over wages, healthcare cost, pensions and vacation time.
In a statement, a Goodyear spokesman says "Goodyear is committed to working with the United Steelworkers to develop a mutually beneficial agreement that supports the needs of the business and associates, while allowing for continued profitability and future growth for North America."
Local union president Darryl Jackson is in Cincinnati where the negotiations are still underway at last report. He's not commenting on the ongoing talks, other than to say anything can happen between now and the deadline Saturday night.
cumberland county, local/state, greg barnes
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