A new, four-year master labour contract has been ratified by members of the United Steelworkers union at the Goodyear Tyre & Rubber Company.

"This agreement reflects the commitment of Goodyear and the USW to continue to work together to achieve our common goal of world-class competitiveness," said the tyremaker's chief operating officer Richard Kramer.

He said the new master contract and recently completed local agreements, built on significant changes made in the 2003 and 2006 agreements and addressed core issues of productivity, compensation costs and flexibility affecting the competitiveness of the company's North American tyre business.

The seven plants covered by the master agreement are in: Akron, Ohio; Buffalo, New York; Danville, Virginia; Fayetteville, North Carolina; Gadsden, Alabama; Topeka, Kansas; and Union City, Tennessee.  It covers approximately 10,300 workers.