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B.C. labour calls on half a million members to boycott Goodyear Tires

Vancouver - The B.C. Federation of Labour has endorsed a call by the Canadian Labour Congress for a national boycott of Goodyear Tire, says Federation President Jim Sinclair.

Delegates to the Federation's recent 50th annual convention approved an emergency resolution supporting the struggle of 15,000 striking Goodyear workers in Canada and the United States. These workers have been battling major contract concessions while on strike at 15 Goodyear Tire and Rubber Co. facilities across North America since October 5, 2006.

"When times are tough employers never hesitate to come to workers and ask them to share the pain," Sinclair said. "Now that the company is making healthy profits, not only is Goodyear unwilling to share, they're demanding more concessions and threatening to ship jobs overseas."

In 2003 in exchange for job security commitments, the striking workers, represented by the United Steelworkers, accepted concessions on wages, pensions and health care, to help save Goodyear from the brink of bankruptcy. Today, despite hundreds of millions in profit, Goodyear has reneged on its commitment to job security and is working to eliminate health care benefits for both current and retired workers.

Sinclair called the strike a fight for all union members. "There may not be a Goodyear plant here in B.C., but we're asking our members to boycott Goodyear products until the company can show it's committed to maintaining decent wages and benefits for all workers." Last month B.C. alone lost 14,600 full-time jobs. Good-paying manufacturing jobs have been decreasing across Canada all year.

Twelve Goodyear facilities in the United States are covered under a master contract; workers at the three Canadian facilities have separate contracts but walked off the job in solidarity with their fellow workers.

Boycotts are an important tool of the labour movement to apply economic pressure on employers and governments who deny working people their fundamental rights. In declaring a boycott, the labour movement is asking union members and consumers to lend their support to working people and refrain from purchasing or using Goodyear Tire and Rubber goods or services.

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