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Bridgestone workers show support with gate rallies
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Debbie Page, front left, and Annette Veals, front right, are among the people in support of Bridgestone employees during a gate rally last week. Another gate rally is planned Wednesday morning.

Bridgestone workers have another gate rally planned Wednesday morning to support the United Steel Workers Local 1155 negotiating committee as it works toward a new contact with the company.

The current five-year contract for all six Bridgestone North America plants expires July 29.

“We’re looking for wages and benefits that are fair and equitable and are what our members deserve,” said union communications coordinator Van Tenpenny. “We’re optimistic our president and our bargaining committee will return with a favorable contract.”

Negotiations are taking place in Lexington, Ky. In addition to the Warren County plant, negotiations are also for plants in LaVergne; Des Moines, Iowa; Akron, Ohio; Russellville, Ark.; and Bloomington, Ill.

The contract will apply to around 900 workers at the Warren County plant, Tenpenny said. It will have to be ratified by a majority vote.

“It’s hard to say how negotiations are going because they’re up in Lexington, Ky., and we’re down here, but we’re very hopeful,” said Tenpenny. “These gate rallies are to show our support.”