Contact: Josh Holly 202.226.3988
Washington, D.C. --- U.S. Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-CA), Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, today called on the leadership of the Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company and the U.S. Steelworkers to work out a deal to allow 200 striking United Steelworkers at Goodyear’s Topeka, Kansas, facility to return to work.
Fifteen thousand U.S. Steelworkers at sixteen Goodyear Tire plants in the United States and Canada went on strike on October 5, 2006. The Goodyear Tire facility in Topeka is the sole producer of Humvee tires for the U.S. military. Even though Goodyear’s salaried employees are producing tires, production levels have been reduced by approximately 35 percent, creating a shortage within the military.
“The U.S. Army fights on wheels and they need help from both the union and management right now. Earlier today, General Cody, the Vice Chief of Staff for the Army, asked for my help in solving this situation,” said Rep. Hunter.
“I contacted the President of the Steel Workers Union, Mr. Leo Gerard, and was assured that his workers would be willing to resume working at the tire production facility in Topeka to support America’s troops,” said Hunter. “Mr. Keegan, President of Goodyear, also stated that the company would engage cooperatively with the Steelworkers to support this national interest.”
“Both leaders express strong support for re-manning the Humvee tire lines. In the interest of American security, I am optimistic that both parties will cooperate to solve this situation expeditiously,” concluded Hunter.
The Army has already taken initial steps to mitigate the impact of the strike on soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan. The Army is no longer filling requirements that do not support the U.S. Central Command’s area of responsibility and is not providing tires to the depots responsible for restoring damaged equipment. The Army is also exploring a possible injunction under the Taft-Hartley Act to force U.S. Steelworkers back to work.
“My recommendation is to immediately allow the 200 United Steelworkers at the Goodyear facility in Topeka, Kansas, to return to work under the present compensation system with the understanding that these workers will be afforded the same settlement that other striking employees may receive pursuant to the resolution of current labor negotiations,” stated Hunter in a letter to both Mr. Gerard and Mr. Keegan outlining his recommendations.