Strike Looming at Goodyear Plant in Danville
Danville, VA - Families in Danville are preparing for a possible strike at the city's largest private employer.
Goodyear's union presidents have traveled to Cincinnati to meet with company officials and hopefully reach an agreement before the deadline at midnight Sunday.
Some employees say a strike would take a toll on hundreds of families in Danville and the city's economy.
"I'm prepared to go out. I don't want to, but I'm just going to have to tough it for however long it goes on," said Darren Wood, the powerhouse operator.
Wood says he's ready for what seems like an imminent strike at the Goodyear plant. But not all of his co-workers feel so confident.
"A lot of them is worried, some seems like they'd be fine, like they'd find work - side work - for the duration. Some of them, not so lucky I don't think," said Wood.
The plant is the largest private employer in the region with more than 2,000 employees.
A strike would obviously hurt families, but officials say it could also hurt the economy.
"It would have an effect of course on the spending habits on some of the people that work there. A lot of businesses would potentially be affected if Goodyear employees did not receive their wages as they normally did," said Jeremy Stratton, director of economic development in Danville
Depending on the length of the strike, it could turn off other companies from coming to the city.
"Companies evaluating if they want to come to Danville will see how companies and employees work together here and it may cause them to make different decisions," said Stratton.
The union presidents say they're fighting to prevent increases on healthcare costs and the elimination of a current pension plan, as well as other benefits.
If negotiations don't go well, they've advised employees to prepare to take a stand July 27. But Wood says he just wants to see everything go back to normal.
"Nobody wants to go out of work. That's a good place to work, make pretty good money. Get this all settled with and let's go back to work," said Wood.