BFGoodrich Tire Manufacturing will lay off up to 40% of employees at its Opelika and Tuscaloosa plants in Alabama and Fort Wayne, Indiana, manufacturing plants, according to an agreement published on a union website.

A United Steel Workers Local 351 spokesman told local media the Tuscaloosa plant employed 1,282 and that the company would significantly scale back production over the eight weeks from 1 November.

BFGoodrich-Michelin spokeswoman Lynn Slovak said the layoffs would be temporary.

She said the layoffs were due to to the weakening global economy.

The agreement includes US$1,000 loans to affected workers.