Goodyear's Tyler Workers Hopeful About Tentative Deal

Union workers at Tyler's unprofitable Goodyear plant reacted with hope and some heartache to a tentative deal that would end an 11-week strike -- but doesn't guarantee their factory's future beyond 2007.

The world's third-largest tiremaker and the United Steelworkers union reached the deal after both sides resumed talks early this week.

More than 12-thousand union workers nationwide must still put the contract to a vote at ratification meetings expected to be held Thursday.

The deal allows Goodyear to stick with plans to close the 44-year-old Tyler plant, which employs about 1,100 people. The deal provides for a one-year transition period during which workers will have the opportunity to take advantage of retirement buyouts.

On October 30th, Goodyear announced it was planning to shut down its Tyler plant that makes wholesale private label tires. The plant's fate had been a key issue in negotiations, along with health care benefits.

But the union said the future of the plant, where workers continued to picket outside Saturday, could not be won beyond the end of 2007.

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