Goodyear, Steelworkers Extend Contract

AKRON, Ohio (AP) -- Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. and the United Steelworkers of America have extended their national contract four weeks until Aug. 15, both sides said Tuesday.

The three-year contract covering about 10,300 Steelworkers at seven Goodyear plants in the U.S. had been scheduled to expire Saturday. The extension was announced by the company in an e-mail statement. The union's contract Web site also detailed the move.

The Steelworkers said job security would overshadow other issues in contract talks covering workers in Akron; Buffalo, N.Y.; Danville, Va.; Fayetteville, N.C.; Gadsden, Ala.; Topeka, Kan., and Union City, Tenn.

All terms of the current agreement will remain in force with the extension, the union said.

Contract talks, which began last month, continue in Cincinnati.

Progress "remains slow," according to the union's bargaining committee's Web site. Still, the union "believes we can reach a new labor agreement before Aug. 15, 2009 that is fair and equitable to all of our members," the Web site said.

Goodyear said it was confident an agreement could be reached, but didn't specify when.

"We remain confident that we will reach an agreement that is acceptable to both sides," Jim Allen, Goodyear's chief negotiator, said in a statement released by the Akron-based company.

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