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Goodyear Workers, Families Hope End of Strike Is Near

Posted December 27, 2006

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— Thousands of Goodyear employees could soon return to work, if union members ratify a proposed contract on Thursday.

United Steelworkers union members from the company's Fayetteville plant met to discuss a proposed contract agreement Wednesday afternoon. Members will decide whether to accept it in Thursday’s vote.

Nearly 2,000 workers have been on strike for the past three months, but the Goodyear employees haven’t been the only ones suffering.

"Well, it's been hard since the strike," said James Hicks.

James, 13, his 10-year old brother Jacob, and their mom came to the picket line Wednesday to support their dad, Robert Hicks. The 16-year Goodyear employee hasn't received a paycheck since walking off the job three months ago.

"We are out here fighting his fight. We're standing out here for what we believe in as a family," said Kim Hicks, Robert's wife.

Union members went on strike in October, after the company tried to cut wages and benefits. No one thought it would last through the holidays.

"We were hoping that we would still have a Christmas," James Hicks said as he stood beside his little brother and parents on the picket line.

But Christmas came and went on the picket line, and the Hicks couldn't even afford to buy their boys Christmas presents.

"They knew before Christmas ever came up that if I didn't go back to work by Thanksgiving, there wasn't going to be any money for Christmas. They understand it," said Robert Hicks.

They may understand it, but that doesn't mean that they don't want it to be over.

"I think it just needs to end and go back to the way it was before the strike ever happened," said Jacob Hicks.

Robert Hicks said that if they vote "no" on the contract tomorrow, he will be prepared to strike for another three months. He said he’ll stay off the job as long as it takes to get a fair contract.

Union members have been receiving a weekly stipend from the union. They have been receiving a little more than $100 a week for food and gas. A fund is also set up to help members pay their electricity bill and rent or mortgage during the strike. The results of the vote should be known by 11 p.m. Thursday.
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  • trapacpa Dec 28, 2006

    If the unions continue as they have for the last few years, you will not have a choice of Goodyear tires at all. It will be Toyo or some other foreign brand. Same for American made cars. GM, FORD, Chrysler??? How long can they continue. Don't bet on it.

    If it costs me $2 to employ you, and you only produce $1.50, how long do you think I can keep you on the payroll? Only until bankruptcy. But that doesn't bother the unions in the slightest.

  • trapacpa Dec 28, 2006

    If the unions continue as they have for the last few years, you will not have a choice of Goodyear tires at all. It will be Toyo or some other foreign brand. Same for American made cars. GM, FORD, Chrysler??? How long can they continue. Don't bet on it.

    If it costs me $2 to employ you, and you only produce $1.50, how long do you think I can keep you on the payroll? Only until bankruptcy. But that doesn't bother the unions in the slightest.

  • dontcha1003 Dec 28, 2006

    Okay, I have some comments for postingmyopinion-at-yahoo-dot-com. Most of these employees at Goodyear are not overpaid. Alot of them work in extreme heat and no air conditioning. Alot of the jobs they do are very hard and require alot of training. The ones that are overpaid are the ones that sit on their but overlooking everything that goes on at these GoodYear plants. Some making millions of dollars a year just to sit in an office? Come on, get real. These strikers are doing it for a good cause-other than the Tyler, Texas plant closing. Alot of these people deserve the retirement that they have worked for or are currecntly working for. There are not alot of jobs that pay as good as GoodYear in this town-educated or not. If you don't have anything good to say about a situation, don't say anything at all!!!!

  • inmyopinion3 Dec 28, 2006

    Unions are always bad news no matter if the fact is right of wrong. The problem here lies in the fact that Unions several years/decades ago managed to get over inflated wages for minimimally skilled people with generallty low education levels. These agreements are now coming back to haunt the company and they are attempting to balance their books! Nobody likes a pay cut or in this case a correction in pay. I personally had a 10% paycut when the .com bubble burst and I never got it back. Thats life, we are not a communist or socialist society we are a capatilist society, like it or not, I have no sympathy for any of the strikers, if things are so bad at Good Year why not get a better paying job elsewhere??? My gues is because they wouldnt get anywhere near their exisiting pay due to their lack of skill and or education!

  • HST Dec 28, 2006

    What justification does goodyear have behind cutting wages? prices of everything have been on the rise for a decade while wages have remained stagnant...and now they want to cut wages?? Even if "steve" is right about it only being for new hires, it is still morally wrong. Are corporations allowed to do whatever they can to make a buck, or are they subject to moral laws as well? They should be. In courts, a corporation can be sued just like a citizen. I think this should also apply to the court of public opinion. SHAME ON AMERICA for not demanding morality from our corporations!!

  • ydseyd Dec 28, 2006

    Goodyear was not EVER going to cut anyone's pay. That is propaganda that the union is telling everyone.The lower pay was for new hired people and that was starting at $13.00 an hour. Not too bad for someone with no schooling or formal education. You should really get all the facts before you make a comment. Union's have been destroying companies at an alarming rate. I work at Goodyear and if the people striking are not satisfied with their income or jobs maybe they should quit. Give someone a chance that really wants to earn good money.About 50% of the people striking are fighting for what they believe is just. The other 50% are morons who do not appreciate anything unless it is handed to them with minimal effort.If the people striking gave a tenth the effort the temporary workers gave, then No one would have to worry about jobs moving overseas.-----Steve

  • ladypoetsteph Dec 28, 2006

    That's just so wrong. A major company trying to cute people's wages that close to Christmas. And then not even try to settle the matter causing families not to be able to celebrate Christmas or even Thanksgiving. They shoudl be ashamed.