Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Officials Express Confidence Firestone Package Will Pass/results of Vote Seen in One Week

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Officials Express Confidence Firestone Package Will Pass/results of Vote Seen in One Week

Article excerpt

A concessions package designed to keep the Oklahoma City Firestone Tire and Rubber Co. plant open is expected to be approved by the International United Rubber Workers executive committee, officials indicated Monday.

Both union and company representatives sounded hopeful Monday of passage by the committee.

If the package is approved, Firestone has promised to rescind its Dec. 16 notice to close the local plant, and immediately implement the provisions of the contract.

"We will withdraw (the notice to close the Oklahoma City plant) pending the approval of the package by the executive committee," said Bob Troyer, Firestone representative.

"We are extremely optimistic that we will get the approval of the executive committee," Troyer said.

"The executive committee will probably be polled via the mail," said Curt Brown, international rubber workers spokesman. "The results would be in within a week or so."

The committee has a choice of voting by mail or in a meeting of its membership, he said.

The executive committee has final say over the package, which - as of a favorable re-vote Sunday of Decatur, Ill., Local 713 - has passed each of the other levels of international union approval.

Although he would not attempt to predict the outcome of the committee's vote, Brown said news of Decatur's approval of the package was greeted favorably at the international headquarters in Akron.

"I wouldn't worry about it too much," Brown said. "The international was quite pleased with the results of the vote at Decatur.

"At this point, we would anticipate the committee would go along with the concessions. The administration of the union was in favor of approving the concessions, and a number of them are on the committee," Brown said.

The package calls for wages for each worker to drop by 60 cents per hour immediately, and another 60 cents per hour in mid-September.

"We will implement the package right away," Troyer said. "The first pay cut will be included in the first pay check after the concession package approval."

Early last week, it appeared that board would not have an opportunity to review the package.

It had failed the rank-and-file vote of the international membership when Local 713 in Decatur - the last local to vote - rejected the package.

Due to an error in the first vote at the local in Albany, Ga., a vote was retaken in that city, but failed to change the outcome of the overall vote when the second vote also was against the package. …

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