22 September 2000
The following is from the International Federation of Chemical, Energy, Mine and General Workers' Unions (ICEM):
BRIDGESTONE U.S. AGREEMENTS APPROVED
BIG GAINS FOR WORKERS AFTER GLOBAL UNION SUPPORT
New labour agreements covering more than 8,000 workers at nine Bridgestone/Firestone plants in the United States were overwhelmingly approved by union members in secret-ballot ratification votes over the past 10 days.
The master agreement between the tyre multinational and the United Steelworkers of America was expanded to cover seven Bridgestone/Firestone plants, and was approved by a nearly 4-1 margin. Separate agreements covering two other facilities were adopted by margins of 10-1 and 17-1 respectively. All three contracts expire on April 23, 2003, and negotiations for successor agreements will all take place in the same location.
Highlights of the master agreement include:
The two other agreements are broadly similar.
The deals are a major success for the American union - and for organised labour in Bridgestone worldwide.
Bridgestone workers' unions on all continents had pressed the company to reach a US settlement, as had the 20-million-strong International Federation of Chemical, Energy, Mine and General Workers' Unions (ICEM), to which the USWA is affiliated at the global level.
Worldwide union support for the American workers was mobilised via the global network of unions in Bridgestone recently set up by the ICEM (see ICEM UPDATE 66/2000).
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Editor: Ian Graham, Information Officer
Publisher: Fred Higgs, General Secretary.