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Breaking News

Bridgestone/Firestone, Steelworkers Union Reach Tentative Agreement

Aired September 4, 2000 - 6:01 a.m. ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

LINDA STOUFFER, CNN ANCHOR: It appears all-night negotiations have produced a tentative agreement between Bridgestone/Firestone and the Steelworkers Union that's been threatening to strike.

CNN's Mark Potter has been following the talks very closely. He joins us by phone now from LaVergne, Tennessee with the latest on this.

Hello Mark.

MARK POTTER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Good Morning, Linda.

It appears that we have an early morning Labor Day agreement in the talks between the United Steelworkers of America and the Bridgestone/Firestone Company. We know that the negotiators worked into the early morning hours and have now hammered out what they describe as, indeed, a tentative agreement.

A call came in here to LaVergne, Tennessee had about 3:00 in the morning Central time, 4:00 Eastern, to the union headquarters from the negotiators, saying that they had reached this agreement and that the workers were to be notified to stay on the job, that the threat of a strike had been averted.

Tommy Reeder (ph), the Secretary of the local, said he took that call from Garry Manning, the local president who also is on the negotiating committee. They had been working feverishly over the weekend since a strike deadline came and went Friday night at midnight. The threat loomed over nine plants around the country and now that the threat has been averted.

This is not a final agreement, it's a tentative agreement. That means that the leadership in St. Louis at the negotiating table has agreed. Now this must come back to the members at the various locals for their discussion and their final vote. But this is a major step in the negotiations and certainly good news for the beleaguered Bridgestone/Firestone Company.

Linda, Back to you.

STOUFFER: Mark Potter, thank you very much for the latest on that tentative agreement.

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