Goodyear and Union Continue Negotiations
Unionized Goodyear employees in northwest Tennessee are having a rough time. Three years ago, they voted to ratify an agreement where they lost quite a bit of their pension. They say they agreed to this because Goodyear was financially on the edge at that period of time.
This year, according to union reps, the tire company wants to cut benefits including major cuts for retirees.
And northwest Tennessee will be impacted one way or the other regardless of what happens. The dilemma is simple, take a 20 percent reduction in salary as well as benefit reduction or keep playing hardball with Goodyear's corporate offices.
On top of this, Goodyear announced yesterday they are selling a portion of their tire cord operations to a company from South Korea called Hyosung Corp. in a multi-year agreement that will affect plants in the United States as well as Luxemborg and Brazil.
The thing is, if employees accept the agreement, which although it hasn't been reported on let's say to the extent that Suri Cruise's debut in Vanity Fair has (blech), the implications of the negotiations is quite devastating for northwest Tennessee. If they close the plant, the area will go into an economic depression of astronomical proportions.
The future for Union City and the surrounding ares is uncertain. I have written this before, but in Dresden alone, the largest employer is the grocery store. It used to be World Color, which employed a ton of people. In Martin, the Hubble plant was lost but at least they have the University and MTD (which is on lay-off at the moment until next month.)
In Union City, it comes down to if Goodyear is lost, the area affectively suffers.
Corporate is, according to some of the Goodyear employees, meeting with local chambers in all rural communites that have Goodyear plants trying to beef up attention that without them, communities will dry up.
Which is true.
However, Goodyear will affectively be taking away things from their workers and former workers they have earned. If corporate wants to save money, there are other ways to be cost effective.
We live in very economically depressed times. We deal with it daily at the newspaper. In the last six years since our last census, our population has dropped more than 3000 people. That number will drastically drop if we lost Goodyear.
But Goodyear shouldn't be holding our community and its employees hostage either.
This is not good, campers.
Not good at all.