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Let's Pitch in to Help Steelworkers and Everybody in Tyler

United Steelworkers of America Local 746 President Jim Walmsley called the "Workers' Beat" program on KNON radio November 22. He said that the local needs all kinds of help to get through the crisis imposed on them by Goodyear Corporation. They have been on strike for weeks to save their retirees and active members from severe cutbacks, including the planned closing of the Tyler plant. If the Tyler plant closed, the economy of Tyler would be a disaster area. Further, unionists all over East Texas who look to USW 746 would lose their best supporter.

Contributions can be made out to "Strike Assistance" and sent to the local USW 746 at 13624 State Highway 31W, Tyler TX 75709. People can come by anytime to encourage the pickets. Sodas, water, and food are always welcome at the union hall across the street from the old Kelly Springfield tire plant. It is about 2 miles west of Tyler.

President Walmsley said that top national leaders will be joining the picketing at 5 PM on Thursday, December 7, and all supporters are welcome.

A recent e-mail from national Jobs with Justice enlarges on this important challenge for the labor movement in Texas:

Dear Local JwJ Coalition Staff and Leaders,
I am writing to you with an urgent request. More than 15,000 USW members have been on strike at Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company since October 5th. They need our help with leafleting at as many Good Year stores ASAP (see attached leaflet). If you are able to organize a leafleting action at local Good Year stores, you can print the attached flier or contact your USW district office to have them provide you with fliers (see attached list of District offices).

Attached, you will find: //downloaded all into c:\backup\06nov//
·Good Year Strike fact sheet
·The handbill
·Do's and don'ts of leafleting actions
·USW District map
·USW District contacts

Background of the strike:
Workers from15 facilities across the United States and Canada walked off the job to protest unfair contract proposals made by the company. Twelve of the facilities are in the U.S. and are covered under a master contract. Three Canadian facilities have separate contracts but also walked off the job in solidarity. Goodyear workers vow to hold out "one day longer" than the company to obtain a fair and equitable contract that provides reasonable job security and for a fair deal on retiree health care.

By forcing this labor dispute, Goodyear is attempting to wash its hands of its health care obligation to current and future retirees. Retired workers at Goodyear, many of whom face illnesses and medical conditions directly related to their jobs, would soon be left without health care insurance coverage if Goodyear has its way. If the company gets away with this, it will be bad news for all union workers struggling to maintain a decent standard of living and for retirees. Also, the USW is fighting to keep employers like Goodyear from discarding North American production facilities in favor of low-wage overseas operations. This issue has far-reaching ramifications for all working people in North America.

Please let me know if your JwJ coalition will help organize leafleting at a local Good Year store.
sarita Gupta
National Field Director
Jobs with Justice
1325 Massachusetts Avenue, NW
Suite 200
Washington, DC 20005
202-393-1044 x227
fax: 202-393-7408


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