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Bridgestone workers likely avoid strike
Employees voting on new contract
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Bridgestone is one step closer to averting a strike as the local union’s executive committee has given the proposed contract settlement its nod.
Members of the rank and file are casting their ballots on the contract this Tuesday through Friday. If it is approved by majority vote, the contract will go into effect.
“The executive committee, which I am on, voted unanimously to recommend the contract,” said Van Tenpenny of Local 1155 United Steel Workers, which represents the 750 Bridgestone union workers at the Morrison plant.
Union stewards were briefed about the contract before it was introduced to the workers this week. They conveyed what they learned to the workers to prepare them for the vote. Tenpenny said he could not give highlights on the new contract proposal until the workers have had a chance to see it. The contract offer came after the deadline passed July 27, leaving workers on the job on an hour-to-hour basis under the old contract.
“It’s like any negotiation, some is good and some things go up,” Tenpenny said. “But overall I think it’s a good contract.”
The contract is the first one since 2009 when many workers felt the economic climate left them in a bad negotiating position. There were hopes the rebounding economy would bring with it better negotiating position for Morrison workers and the five other plants at the bargaining table.
The plants in Des Moines, Iowa, Bloomington, Ill., LaVergne, Russellville, Ark., and Akron, Ohio all saw their executive committees also recommend the contract proposal.