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Goodyear, union reach deal to avoid strike

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With 2,500 employees, Goodyear's Fayetteville plant is one of the area's largest employers. With 2,500 employees, Goodyear's Fayetteville plant is one of the area's largest employers.
FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. -

A tentative agreement was reached Saturday between the United Steelworkers union and Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company.

This deal will impact workers at six plants across the country, including 2,500 people in Fayetteville. Goodyear's Fayetteville plant is one of the area's largest employers.

The union was working through disagreements over pay, healthcare costs and other benefits for longtime employees. The contract was to expire at midnight Saturday night, at which point workers were set to strike.

Last week, Fayetteville's office of the USW, the local 959, sent notices to members telling them to prepare for financial hardships if an agreement could not be reached.

Members of the union still need to ratify the contract and those votes will be scheduled in the near future.Darryl Jackson, president of the USW local 959, says the local union office hopes to have briefing meetings on the tentative deal with Goodyear sometime next week.

The meetings are for all union members employed at Goodyear. A vote on the proposed contract would likely be scheduled for a week after the meetings.

Jackson says the proposed contract is for four years, which means all six Goodyear plants are protected from closing in the next four years.

In 40 years, employees at Fayetteville's Goodyear plant have only gone on strike twice -- in 1997 and 2006.

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