The agreement calls for the largest U.S. tire maker to give a one-year period of transition for workers instead of an immediate closure of a Tyler, Texas plant. The closure of that plant had been one of the principle obstacles to an agreement. Goodyear is in the process of exiting unprofitable private label tire production in a bid to boost profits. (Reuters, 12.22.2006)
The "agreement" doesn't offer much, and is admittedly being done simply to "boost-profits", a raw-deal-at-best. If I was an intelligent union leader, I'd tell them to shove their deal up-their-ass, and look to the long-term consequences of said "deals." Goodyear also wants to make all new-hires non-union, at non-union pay. This is also unacceptable, and should be roundly-rejected with further walkouts, and should be echoed in Canada as well. Don't buy Goodyear, I won't until there is some reasonable solution to this, meaning keeping the plant and future-hires union.
This is hardly over, and should be viewed as a highly-suspicious news release that favors ownership/major-shareholders. Also curious are the numbers quoted for strikers--one release says 12,500 (excluding Canadian strikers?), 15,000 in today's, and 16,000 in others. This is reminiscent of public opinion-polls for President Bush, as well as on social concerns, exit polls, and election-results. Watch the counters, and watch them well.
It would behoove currently unionized workers to go wildcat on their national unions and the NLRB (http://www.nlrb.gov/) when they aren't watching-out for their interests and the long-term picture. They should also be working-hard to get Hispanic workers naturalized and unionized, something only the daft would oppose. What do they have to lose? Their future? That's already being decided by the company and union hacks. Unannounced work-slowdowns are also a powerful-tool in driving-down the stock of companies that view workers as disposable. The only rule in this game is winning, and losing means social-chaos that would make a General strike seem tame in-comparison.