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USW Local 831

The History of
URW/USW Local 831
This page is currently under construction. In the near future we will provide the history of our local union. If you have old photo's or items of interest to contribute, please e-mail the webmaster.

The History of the United Rubber Workers
The History of URW 831 1975-80
The History of URW 831 1981-85
The History of URW 831 1986-90
The History of URW 831 1990-95
The History of USW 831 1996-98
1999--A Union Year in Review
Y2K--A Union Year in Review
2001--One Tough Year

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The United Rubber Workers bring rich 60-year history to the USWA.

Akron, Ohio -- The newest members of the Steelworkers Union come from the 60-year-old United Rubber, Cork, Linoleum & Plastic Workers of America, founded September 12, 1935, in Akron -- then the "Rubber Capital of the World" and former home base for most of the major tire and rubber companies.

The union's founding was preceded by 30 years of struggle to organize. The "sit-down" strike was born among rubber workers as Rex Murray, later a charter member of the URW and then president of the General Tire local in Akron, led the first "sit-down" in June 1934.

Among the struggles of those days was the 1936 Goodyear strike, which saw 11 miles of picket lines around Akron. CIO President John L. Lewis of the Mine Workers rallied support for the rubber workers.

Violence against activists was common. URW founding President Sherman Dalrymple was beaten by company goons in Alabama.

But the numbers were increasing from the initial 3,050 founding members, and by the end of 1935 the URW had chartered 39 local unions. The first local in Canada was chartered in 1936 -- Local 67 in Kitchener, Ont.

Despite the Depression, morale and loyalty ran high, and by the late 1930s membership grew to more than 100,000. It continued to grow during World War II to nearly 190,000 in 222 locals by 1945 and to nearly 209,000 by June 1947.


In its 10th year --1945, the URW expanded its jurisdiction to cork, linoleum and plastics workers. In that year also, L.S. Buckmaster was elected president to lead the union during the national conversion to peacetime industry.

Traditionally, bargaining in the rubber industry had been on an individual plant basis. Working toward company wide bargaining, the union succeeded in 1946 in negotiating a general wage increase with the "Big Four" Goodyear, U.S. Rubber, Firestone and Goodrich -- in one set of negotiations. The first company wide agreement came in 1947, when a "master agreement" with U.S. Rubber was applied uniformly to 19 company plants. By 1948, all the major companies had "master agreements."

In 1949, the union established its first Fair Practices Department aimed at stamping out injustices based on race, sex, colour, religion or national origin. Also in 1949, the URW began to demand better pensions, and when Goodrich agreed to improve its contributory plan, the stage was set for achievement of union-negotiate non-contributory pensions and insurance plans in the Big Four.

In 1960, George Burdon, the union's organizing director, was elected international president. Peter Bommarito, president of Local 101 in Detroit, was elected vice president, and Ike Gold, of Firestone Local 7, was elected secretary-treasurer.

Bommarito was elected president in 1966 and served until 1981, becoming a legend in the union as a fighting leader. The year after his election, the URW confronted what Bommarito called an "unholy alliance" -- a mutual assistance pact among what had become the "Big Five" with the rise of Uniroyal. Bommarito led 52,000 men and women onto picket lines at the Big Five and 23 independent companies, as the union won major wage increases and benefit improvements.

Another of Bommarito's achievements was the establishment of a Joint Occupational Health Agreement as the URW became the first union to employ a full-time industrial hygienist, Louis S. Beliczky, in 1971.

In 1974, URW Canadian locals won cost-of-living adjustments after a lengthy strike, paving the way for U.S. locals to win similar inflation protection in 1976, with an 140-day strike at Firestone, Uniroyal, Goodrich and Goodyear.

In 1981, Milan "Mike" Stone became the URW's fifth president and led the union through the anti-labour 1980s. Against threats of losing COLA, the URW held its own. And in 1984, the union led the way toward health care cost containment reaching an agreement with Uniroyal months before 1985 contract talks were scheduled. Similar cost containment language with protection of benefits was then negotiated with Goodrich, Goodyear and Firestone.

Kenneth L. Coss was elected president in 1990 and led successful negotiations in 1991 with Bridgestone/Firestone, setting a pattern for the other companies. Building on an effort begun by Stone, the union won recognition at Bridgestone's new plant in Warren County, Tenn., based on a card check. This uncontentious recognition of URW Local 1155 certainly did not foretell the "War of '94" that Bridgestone was soon to launch against the URW and American workers.

Under Coss' direction, the URW made significant efforts to improve education programs and communications activities, and to strengthen labour-management cooperation. Recognizing the overwhelming challenges facing the URW and other industrial unions, Coss along with his union leadership, led the union toward the merger with the United Steelworkers. With that merger, the URW and the entire labor movement in North America have a new beginning. Today, the USWA Rubber/Plastic Industry Conference is led by John Sellers, appointed March 1, 1996 as the Executive Vice President of the Conference.


Headquarters - Akron, Ohio
John Sellers is serving his second term as executive vice president of the USWA Rubber/Plastics Industry Conference  (R/PIC), representing former members of the United Rubber Workers. Sellers was appointed to that post on March 1, 1996, elected by delegates to an R/PIC conference in September 1996 and re-elected to a four-year term in September 1997.
Sellers joined URW Local 639 at AMF Voit in Santa Ana, Cal., in 1966 and was appointed to the URW staff in 1978. He joined the international staff in 1991 and served as organizing director, education director and political education director, as well as participating in master contract bargaining. With the USWA, Sellers coordinated the successful corporate campaign against Bridgestone/Firestone and leads the union's negotiations with the major tire companies. He also serves on
the USWA International Executive Board.


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The History of URW Local 831

Years 1975-1980

In March of 1975, Local 831 decided to start an official newsletter. The Informer became the name and it was published monthly. Charles Denny was President & Editor; Thomas Hall was Managing Editor while Ray Dodd and Carlton Murphy served as Associate Editors. The first edition featured procedures to suggest contract proposals, monthly meeting highlights, Charlie's Spot (featuring President Charles Denny), workers compensation information and it also served as an advertising venue for the Goodyear stores on Wilson Street and Piney Forest Road. The special that week was Goodyear Polyglas Whitewalls for $22.00. Goodyear announces the closure of Plant #1 in Akron. That was a permanent cut of 1,271 workers. Aircraft production to cease as well as industrial tire production.


April 1975-Electrical Trainees Graduate 14 Electrical Trainees. A program which started a year prior featuring 14 weeks of classroom training, weeks of 4 hours per day in the plant and finally the last 10 weeks of full 8-hour days on the job produced 14 graduates. Several members are laid off and the Informer advertises their services if any other member needs help around the house.


June 1975-Work is underway for a merger between the United Rubber Workers and the Oil and Chemical Workers of America. Danny Bowman joins the Informer as Associate Editor. President Denny goes to the Interim meeting in Louisville, Kentucky. The first issue was to take the upcoming 24-cent raise and move it to the SUB Fund and Pension Plan. Danville votes no and the issue id dropped.


August 1975-Union plans union picnic. The picnic committee presented a picnic plan to membership, each member would buy a ticket for 50 cents to cover the cost of soft drinks and enable the union to draw for prizes. The prizes were to be four tires donated by Goodyear, two bicycles, and seven racing jackets. Each member is asked to bring his or her picnic lunch. Elections were held for the URW International Convention. Attendees were Sonny Hancock, Ray Dodd, Archie Glass and Frank Howerton.


November 1975-Local 831 Executive Board recommends that membership take a vote on a local union dues increase of $1.50 to sent negotiators to negotiations. After a lot of discussion both for and against, membership voted to hold an official vote on November 19, 1975. It was voted down. Electricians find their usual paycheck of $203.37 a little fatter. Some of the trainees were assigned work without any one to train them and the issue was arbitrated and they won. A wage payment of $5,490 was divided among those affected.


December 1975-Several shop steward elections were protested for members voting more than once. Oscar Strader was terminated for contact dermatitis. Our fight begins against both Goodyear and "Rubber Rash". The "Bucks for Kiddies" gate collection nets $686.00. International President Pete Bommarito informs local unions that he will be seeking to bargain one of the most meaningful and sizable packages in recent years, with wage catch-ups and cost of living clauses as top priorities.


January 1976-URW wins a two-year battle with Goodyear concerning the pay of A&S while on maternity leave. It was arbitrated in St. Mary's, Goodyear appealed it to court because they felt the arbitrator exceeded his bounds by awarding payment. After two years the court ruled in the URW's favor. This is the beginning of A&S for maternity leave. A motion was made to pass the bucket to raise the local unions finances. Each member was asked to donate $5. Local 831 representatives travel to Richmond to testify on contact dermatitis. As stated in previously, contact dermatitis has become a big issue, Brother Strader is returned to work with seniority and back pay. This was our first win in this battle.


March 1976-Vice President Danny Bowman announces to membership that the petition sent to the NLRB to give the Craftsmen the right to join the I.S.S.T. was denied. Sammy Williams joins the Informer as Associate Editor. As negotiations begin, Mr. Sherman for the company states "their proposals are traditional and of no surprise." He added, "Michelin is moving toward a seven-day operations."


September 1976-The URW remains strong. 23,000 members were on strike from April 21, 1976 until August 25, 2976. Danville members were together except for eight members who chose to "SCAB". The 1976 contract yields a cost of living clause among several other items including an Employee Benefit Director to be paid for by Goodyear.


November 1976-A proposal is presented to establish a salary for full-time union officers. Salaries to be based upon the plant average of $6.43 per hour, $257.20 per week and $334.36 per 48-hour week. Additional expenses were proposed for the President of $10 per week and $5 for the Vice President. Otis Thurman becomes the Managing Editor of the Informer. The membership approves $200 for the next year's picnic and votes to retain the picnic committee for the next picnic. President Denny reports on an amendment dealing with the upcoming Unisteel Conversion to the Danville plant. Posting of RTS jobs will begin on December 13, 1976 with additional jobs being posted as they warrant.


December 1976-Goodyear announces a $69 million expansion at Gadsden, Alabama. Lin Jones starts a column in the Informer pertaining to Benefit Claims.


January 1977-A motion was made to refer payment of any legal fees for anybody that may be charged in connection with the recent strike by membership.


March 1977-Delta Dental plan goes into effect. The cost of the plan will be 10.9 cents per hour. To cover the cost, 4 cents will be deducted from the first COLA raise, 4 cents from the second COLA raise and 2.0 cents from the third raise.


June 1977-Johnnie Dodd is appointed as Alternate Benefit Director, Nat Brown serves as Benefit Director. Local 831 votes to send eight members to summer school. Danny Barber is added to the staff of the Informer as Associate Editor.


July 1977-Danny Barber is appointed as the Unisteel Division Chairman. Brother Barber's appointment was upheld by a wide margin.


August 1977-Unisteel cutbacks are made because of inventory exceeding sales. Goodyear expands parking lot so that two lanes can pull in at the same time.


October 1977-Nominations are held for local union officers. Charles Denny is challenged by Danny Bowman, Lin Saunders and Tom Hall compete for VP. 16 members put their name in for the Executive Board. Denny is re-elected, Lin Saunders becomes VP, and Larry Eanes is Treasurer.


January 1978-Membership passes a motion for the building committee to get plans for the construction of a union hall. They also deny a motion to expand the size of the Informer. The company accuses employees of falsely reporting the number of tires they build. After taking inventory, the numbers of tires did not match the expected amount.


February 1978-Membership voted to have the building committee to finalize plans and estimates on building a union hall for the next meeting.


March 1978-Construction is approved and will begin as soon as paperwork is settled. The contract was awarded to Quality Construction for $100,000.


April 1978-Ground breaking for the union hall on Shady Grove Road is held on April 13, 1978. Attending were President Denny and the other Officers as well as the building committee. Since Local 831 had no ditch digging classification, President Denny was not cited for working out of class.


May 1978-Nancy Chaney joins the Informer staff as Associate Editor.


August 1978-A motion was made to send the grievance committee to Gadsden, Alabama to learn about a new management/labor training program. Also, membership approves to increase the picnic allowance to $1,000.


December 1978-Local 831 develops a contract for renting out the new union hall for social affairs. They also set an open house date for the first Saturday and Sunday in May.


March 1979-Weather permitting, work will begin on the first nine holes of the Goodyear golf course. Construction of the tennis court is also scheduled to begin.


April 1979-Open house is scheduled for May 6, 1979. Several speakers will be there and those attending with have refreshments.


June 1979-Membership approves renting the union hall for $200 (profit maker), $125 (non-profit) and $100 for member's department functions. A by-laws proposal to open up executive board meetings to anyone fails.

January 1980-Mr. James Sparks becomes the first "normal" retiree. James started on October 6, 1969 and joined the union on January 12, 1971. James was the first hourly employee to reach normal retirement at Goodyear-Danville. URW 831 Credit Union starts a huge membership drive. All members are urged to sign up family members. Danny Barber moves up to the Managing Editor role on the Informer, Johnny Gauldin as Associate Editor replaces him.


March 1980-Shop Steward class to be held at Danville Community College on March 19th. A by-laws proposal was read to allow the posting of new members and outgoing members in the Informer. The Joint Plant Safety Committee develops new safety program. The plant is divided into three divisions, each having one union and one company representative. Goodyear is awarded, for the second year in a row, the "World Wide" Award for Domestic Goodyear tire plant for safety.


April 1980-Local 831 accepts a bid of $19,851 for the completion of the auditorium. A gate collection was held for the Danville Life Saving Crew, $1,161.40 was collected. Labor supports President Carter's latest moves to win the release of the hostages in Iran.


May 1980-Rates for rental go up $50 for each group and cleaning fee is added. Motion was made to buy a lawn mower to care for the hall grounds.


July 1980-Firestone drops COLA for all salaried employees. Uniroyal slashes wages by 13%. Both were hit hard by a downturn in sales.


September 1980-Dennis "Sonny" Hancock and Gilbert Loftis attend the Skilled Trades Conference in Dayton, Ohio.


October 1980-Nominations are held for Local Union Officers and Representatives. Charles Denny & Freddie Stroud vie for President, Linwood Saunders & Jack Dodson compete for Vice President, William "Stick" McLaughlin & Wilmer Poole are running for Secretary and Larry Eanes is unopposed for Treasurer.


November 1980-A motion was made to subscribe to Union Communication Service to help 831 improve our newsletter, The Informer. Several members challenge the election of officers. Ballots were burned after the votes were tallied. The Executive Board ruled that the election rules had been violated and a new election would be scheduled.



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The History of URW Local 831

Years 1981-1985

January 1981-Freddie Stroud replaces Charles Denny as President. Linwood Saunders remains as Vice President. William "Stick" McLaughlin is elected Secretary and Larry Eanes remains as Treasurer. Charles issues a letter in the Informer asking all members to stand behind the newly elected as new negotiations near us. Delta Dental is now 18.9 cents per hour worked.


February 1981-It was motioned that four desk and chairs be purchased and two be put in each of the two open offices for use by the Division Chairmen. The retirement club request to use the union hall, request is granted. A bylaws proposal was made to all appointees. All must adhere to attendance guidelines. Anyone missing two consecutive meetings will be removed from their committee assignment. International President Peter Bommarito indicated to President Stroud that he would visit our local union membership meeting in May. Retiree Club Charter to be presented on February 19, 1981. Bitter feud brews between URW and Times Fiber in Chatham. URW lost election in 1980 and has a new drive started.


April 1981-It was motioned that a special meeting be held for the purpose of voting on a "Memorandum of Understanding" for Local 307, Topeka, Kansas. Local 831 donates $500 to the swimming pool fund of the YMCA.


May 1981-International President Pete Bommarito visits Local 831. Pete spoke on foreign competition in the auto industry and the seven day work week that Topeka wanted to initiate.


June 1981-Unions cry foul over Japanese-made baseball uniforms. Pittsburgh Pirates, Chicago White Sox and Baltimore Orioles all took to the field in Japanese-made uniforms. New York Yankees were the only team that promised to keep their team in U.S. made uniforms.


December 1981-The Informer switch to an 8X11, eight page edition.


January 1982-Membership agreed to give a bible to all retirees' families in case of the death of retiree.


March 1982-Tool Box Talk was created in the Informer. Maintenance Chairman, Sonny Hancock starts this column to focus on maintenance issues.


July 1982-Myers Construction Company was selected to build the picnic shelter for Local 831. International President Milam Stone schedules a meeting to discuss the overall welfare of the United Rubber Workers.


August 1982-Local 831 agrees to allow Local 200, St. Mary's, Ohio to freeze COLA payment for two years. The first "in-house" class graduates from the Maintenance Apprenticeship Program. A total of 15 people graduated as mechanics and electricians.


September 1982-Local union members are allowed to use picnic facilities for free, others must pay $50. Motion to build four picnic tables for the hall.


October 1982-Local 831 decided not to affiliate with the AFL-CIO of Virginia. Managing Editor, Danny Barber writes an article on Politics and Workers. This article focuses on how you are involved in politics whether you know it or not. He states, "Local 831 does not have a COPE Committee at this time, however, President Stroud assures me that we will soon!"


November 1982-Short workweeks are the topic of discussion. Several locals are faced with cutbacks. President Freddie Stroud ask for members to volunteer for the COPE Committee to be formed in January. Door prize format is developed. All members names will be put into a box, one name is to be drawn at each month's meeting. If that member is present, he or she will win $25. If the person is not present, the next month's drawing will be for $50, increasing in $25 increments each time until someone wins.


December 1982-URW increases its' Scholarship Program to 12 recipients. The Informer offers scholarship applications for members children.


January 1983-Johnnie Dodd wins the first attendance prize for Local 831 ($25). Summer School held in Roanake, Virginia. Local 831 sends 10 people.


February 1983-Pension & Insurance Representative poses for a picture with member Morton Garland on his $14,000 back pay from Social Security.


March 1983-After much discussion, membership approves the Special Executive Board minutes dated February 11, 1983 which discharges Sam (Sugar Bear) Williams of his duties as Division Chairman of the Unisteel Division. President Reagan proposes a tax on health care benefits to workers.


April 1983-URW reorganizes. A Special International Executive Board meeting is called for the restructuring. Districts 3 & 5 merge. Several International staff members retire and others are reassigned.


May 1983-President Stroud appoints the following to the newly formed COPE Committee: Willie Richardson, Kenneth Barbour, Benny Toller, Byron Taylor, Danny Barber, Larry Eanes, Tom Hall and Curtis Inge. Local 831 approves to extend the Delta Dental agreement for three years. Current payment is 18.9 cents, it will increase by 8.1 cents to 19.71 cents. U.S. President Ronald Reagan fires the Air Traffic Controllers and hired replacement workers. This begins a new era.


June 1983-The NLRB ruled that Times Fiber Communications must recognize and bargain with the URW. It seems as though justice is headed in the right direction.


September 1983-Our local union picnic sees huge growth. A record number (2,500) were in attendance and a record number of prizes were given. The picnic included a horseshoe pitching contest and golf, closest to the pin. A Carribean vacation was raffled and won by Wayne Wadlington of the curing department.


October 1983-Local 831 celebrates its' 16th year Charter Anniversary. Another local union election rolls around. Freerick Stroud, Charles Denny and Nick Camburides run for Presidents slot. Linwood Saunders, Archie Glass and Jimmy Davis fight for the VP position. The Secretary's race is between Kenny Barbour and Mary Anne Davis. Larry Eanes is challenged by Michael Kingston.


December 1983-Election brings changes. Charles Denny returns as President, Linwood Saunders is VP, Mary Anne Davis is elected as Secretary and Larry Eanes remains as Treasurer. Executive Board members are; Johnny Gauldin, Frank Howerton, Tom Hall, Billy Ray Poole and Mike Sigmon. J.C. Reynolds retains the Policy Member slot and Division Chairmen are Danny Barber, Phil Hudgins, Jack Dodson and Jr. Loftis. President Denny reports that Goodyear said the demand for our tires is high, competition is heating up with Michelin and Bridgestone. Goodyear also reports that the dermatititis situation will now be recognized in Danville.


January 1984-Local 831 ask for a waiver of dues from the International to begin a membership drive. A rubber rash survey is conducted in the Danville plant.


February 1984-The issue of a seven-day workweek surfaces at the Danville plant.


March 1984-Local 831 sends 18 to summer school in Daytona Beach, Florida. A reccomendation was presented for Division Chairmen to handle only problems in their respective areas unless help is requested by the other chairman.


May 1984-Local buys new John Deere to handle the mowing of the union grounds. Goodyear salaried employees are put on a 85/15 insurance plan. The company is pushing the same 85/15 plan on some of our distressed locals. Local 746, Tyler, Texas and Local 26, Cumberland, Maryland have both accepted this plan.


July 1984-The main focus of the membership meeting is seven-day operations.


September 1984-Recommendation from the joint committee to discuss the need for a seven-day operations operation without opening the contract was turned down by membership.


November 1984-Facts from an October meeting of the negotiating committee and Goodyear were discussed concerning seven-day continuous operations in the banbury and support groups.. A motion was made and seconded to send a clear message to Goodyear that a seven-day operations was not acceptable.


January 1985-The URW Policy Committee meets in St.Louis to outline the bargaining goals for the next three years.


February 1985-Membership accepts the resignation of Sonny Hancock as maintenance division chairman.


April 1985-A special meeting was held for the purpose of ratification of the tentative agreement. Results for the master agreement were 532 for and 200 against.


July 1985-The Coors Brewery boycott begins.


August 1985-Wanda Brumfield is appointed to the Skilled Trades committee. Frederick Stroud speaks to membership about his appointment as an organizer with the Industrial Union Department.


October 1985-Local 831 joins the 5th District Congressional COPE Committee.


November 1985-Local 831 votes against allowing the Windsor, Vermont Goodyear plant to accept concessions.


December 1985-Resignation letter for Nelson Stroud was accepted. He resigns from shop steward and time study.

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Years 1986-1990


January 1986-Motion was made to send the new contract back because they did not have the union printer bug on them.


February 1986-Resignations were accepted from Nick Camburides (shop steward) and Phil Hudgins (Division Chairman). Mike Sigmon was appointed and accepted as the Division Chairman for Unisteel, replacing Phil Hudgins. All union representatives attend a training session at Danville Community College.


March 1986-Organizing efforts heat up at Southside Manufacturing. Discussion was held on allowing them as an amalgamated unit of Local 831.


April 1986-Fourteen members of URW 831 attend the District 7 Convention & Summer School to be held in Daytona Beach, Florida


June 1986-James Coles is appointed to the Local 831 Safety Committee. Local 831 agrees to join the Virginia AFL-CIO with a stipulation that we could get out at a later date if membership found it necessary.


July 1986-The newspaper committee attends classes at George Meany Institute on News Writing & Editing Publication School. Organizer Ray Michael spoke to membership about the efforts being held at Times Fiber in Chatham.


August 1986-Nat Brown is presented his diploma from George Meany Institute by URW President Milam Stone. Once again, the son of one of our own local union members has won the Internationals Joseph W. Child's Memorial Scholarship. Ed Caviness Jr., son of Ed Caviness Sr. was selected as first place. Jeffrey Brian Motley, son of Taylor Motley won the third place award.


September 1986-The call goes out for election of officers and representatives.


November 1986-Elections are as follows:

President--Linwood Saunders

Vice President-Johnny Gauldin

Secretary-Mary Ann Davis

Treasurer-Larry Eanes

Policy Member-J.C. Reynolds

Executive Board: Archie Glass, Nelson Stroud, Johnnie Scott, John Gammon & Billy Ray Poole

Board of Trustees: Jimmy Davis, Clyde Mangrum & David Wilson

Division Chairmen: Danny Barber (Div. I), Chester Surgeon (Div. II), Jack Dodson (Div. III) & Billy Reese (Div. IV)


December 1986-Officials from Gadsden, Local 12 visited Danville to talk to membership about concessions they had agreed to. Those concessions included the following: $1.10 cut in janitors pay, freeze of $0.97 future COLA, loss of piecework, reduction in engineering division pay and maintenance work to include several new jobs such as roto rooter, window repair etc.


Goodyear met with the negotiating committee to inform them of the installation of the new radial aircraft machine (RATS). An agreement was reached to allow the company to select the first crew, after which, the rest would be bid jobs.


January 1987-Resignation was accepted from Johnny Gauldin for his position on the newspaper staff. He will be replaced by Benny Toller.


February 1987-New safety paging system goes live in the Danville plant. Workers can dial 555 for any fire or personal injury. 555 connects you with the main gate.


March 1987-Johnny Gauldin reported on the negotiations at Southside Mabufacturing, labor charges have been filed.


April 1987-Announcement was made on the closing of the Cumberland, Maryland (Kelly-Springfield) bias tire plant. Closing is scheduled for May 21, 1987. Local 6198 of the USWA goes on strike at the Disston plant in Danville. Earl Mimms appointed to the Skilled Trades committee.


June 1987-Goodyear attempts to implement a drug policy and it is grieved. Local 831 expresses interest in a drug assistance program. Local agrees to accept the American Income Life Insurance program. This is a 100% union company.


September 1987-URW Local 878 asked all union members not to buy any tires with the M6 prefix. These tires are being built in the Lawton, Oklahoma plant which is non-union and threatening the jobs at Union City.


November 1987-Goodyear-Danville announces that it will attempt to attain the World Class Flag.


December 1987--Local 831 held a gate collection to help a union member from Local 835 (Madisonville, Ky.) that had used up the maximum lifetime medical benefits. We raised $2,013.49 to benefit Tabitha Foster, an infant with multiple transplants.


February 1988-Are we World Class? Managing Editor of the Informer, Danny Barber an editorial surrounding the "World Class Flag" and the treatment of workers leading up to the flag presentation or should I say non-presentation.


March 1988-Executive Board decides on an individual basis not to participate in the "World Class Flag" celebration. Invitations included URW International President Milam Stone and other trade unionists as well as all local officials. Upon our locals declining to participate, Stone and others also declined. Several issues were presented to the company that would make it possible for union officials to participate.

June 1988-A gate collection was held for the Danville Life Saving Crew. A total of $3,419.00 was collected.


July 1988-Wendy Womack, daughter of Edward Womack was the recipient of the Joseph W. Childs Scholarship.


August 1988-the U.S. Senate passes a landmark bill that would make all major manufacturers provide a 60-day notice prior to announcing plant closures.


October 1988-The Virginia AFL-CIO implements its' "Union Yes" campaign. America works best, when we say Union Yes.


December 1988-Discussion was held at the union meeting about reports from trips. A motion was made and seconded that if travel was paid for by the local union, a written report be given within 10 days of returning and be kept at the union hall. The motion passed.


January 1989-Division III Chairman Jack Dodson resigns. The executive board appoints Benny Toller to fill the remaining term.


March 1989-URW International begins a restructuring to eliminate some districts and merge others. This move is the keep the URW in the black. Local 831 Treasurer, Larry Eanes accepts an international job as auditor. Ronnie Watson is selected to fill his remaining term.


August 1989-Veronica Rowena Robertson, daughter of Alonza Robertson was the recipient of the URW Joseph W. Childs scholarship. Laura Allison Land, daughter of Danny Land is the recipient of the American Income Life scholarship. Jimmy Davis and David Dew are appointed as time study representatives. Both attend time study school.


November 1989-President Linwood Saunders presented Leadership Award Plaques to the outgoing union representatives: J.C. Reynolds, Benny Toller, Nelson Stroud, Johnnie Scott, John Gammon, Billy Ray Poole and David Wilson Sr.. Newly elected officers are:

President Linwood Saunders

Vice President Johnnie Dodd

Secretary Mary Anne Davis

Treasurer Ronnie Watson

Executive Board Larry Journigan, Wayne Teague, Byron Taylor, Ted Fitz &

Archie Glass

Trustees Jimmy Davis, David Payne & Clyde Mangrum

Division Chairmen (Div. I) Danny Barber, (Div. II) Mike Sigmon, (Div. III)

Lynn Gibson & (Div. IV) Billy Reese


Local 831 send a u-haul truck loaded with supplies/food to St. Paul Virginia in support of the striking United Mine Workers. Union members Nat Brown, Johnnie Dodd, Ronnie Watson, Linwood Saunders, Wayne Teague, Tom Hall & Dana Dixon loaded the truck and helped in the food drive. Tom Hall & Johnnie Dodd attended the rally and presented the food. They were most gracious for the support and solidarity from Local 831.


January 1990-A Local 286, Lincoln, Nebraska memorandum of agreement was presented and discussed. It was approved as presented.


March 1990-A URW election is scheduled at the Intertape Inc, Danville, Virginia. Frederick Stroud of Local 831 is heading this organizing drive. U.S.President Ronald Reagan fired the air traffic controllers. URW President Milam Stone urged all locals to petition the President to rehire the unionized air traffic controllers.


May 1990-The Greyhound Bus Lines (Amalgamated Transit Union) continues its strike.


October 1990-A gate collection is held for the Greyhound Bus strikers. Governor Douglas Wilder appointed President Linwood Saunders to the Health & Safety Code Board.


November 1990-Local 831 collects food for striking Greyhound workers.


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Years 1991-1995


January 1991-AFL-CIO blasts President Bush's plan to expand trade with Mexico & Canada. To be called NAFTA, North American Free Trade Agreement. The AFL-CIO and its' associated unions are objecting to this expansion of trade for fear of the effects it will have on workers and this country.


February 1991-Mark Powers is appointed to the Skilled Trades committee. Jerry Harris is appointed as the Picnic Committee Chairman.


March 1991-Servitex workers say "Union Yes" to the URW. Workers at Servitex on Old Piney Forest Road have elected to become part of Local 831.


June 1991-Managing Editor of the Informer, Danny Barber, uses the Informer as a tool to begin a push to Buy American-Buy Union. A special meeting was held to vote on the local contract. The vote was 886 voting yea, 27 voting no.


July 1991-The Food & Commercial Workers union seeks to uncover the high cost of low prices with retailer Wal-mart. Since Sam Walton began his "Buy American" campaign six years ago, his company has imported more than 7.3 million pounds of shoes from China.


August 1991-The U.S. House of Representatives approves legislation to prevent employers from permanently replacing workers who go on strike. President Bush has stated he will veto this bill if passed. A contract proposal to identify employees Average Hourly Earnings (AHE) on check stubs is implemented. Originally for piece workers, the plan must be done for all or none, so everyone will have their A.H.E. on their stub.


September 1991-The Imperial Food Products plant in Hamlett, North Carolina burned killing 25 people. This disaster shows why unions are needed. The locking of the doors was a direct safety violation.


October 1991-Members get the lowdown on the change in insurance plans. Members must chose between the Medical Necessity Plan w/ Major Medical or the Comprehensive Medical Benefits Program w/ Employee Savings Plan. This is the beginning of the 401K for Goodyear employees.


November 1991-Consumers agree-Buying American saves jobs. A survey was done by "Inside Retailing" found that more than 50% of those surveyed believe that consumers who buy foreign-made products are putting Americans out-of-work.


December 1991-A memorandum of agreement on how work is offered was voted on. 724 said leave the language as-is, while 572 wanted it changed.


February 1992-URW 831 Board Member, Tom Hall announces he is a candidate for Danville City Council.


April 1992-Back support belts became a big issue in the Danville plant. Everyone was urged to buy one at cost. A video was shown at the union meeting to show the proper procedure for wearing one.


June 1992-The heat is on for the striker replacement bill. Local 831 members are urged to write their Congressman asking them to support S 55.


August 1992-The U.S. Presidential Campaign heats up. Democrat William Jefferson Clinton challenges Republican George Bush. Workers return to Ravenswood, 1,200 scabs are thrown out. This strike lasted for 19 months.


October 1992-The owner of Imperial Food Products plant in Hamlett, N.C. is sentenced to 20 in the deaths of 25 workers who were confined within the plant during the fire. Photographs start appearing in the Informer this month. Nominations were held for election of Officers & Representatives for Local 831. There were as follows:

President: Linwood Saunders & Danny Barber

Vice President: Johnnie Dodd & J.C. Reynolds

Secretary: Mary Anne Davis & Becky Payne

Treasurer: Ronnie Watson

Board of Trustee's: John Gammon, Ralph McCubbins, David Payne & Frank


Executive Board: Byron Taylor, Archie Glass, Ted Fitz, Danny Gammon, Nelson Stroud, Tom Hall, Wayne Teague, Jimmy Davis, Larry Journigan,

& Sager Arnold

Division Chairmen: Division I, Jerry Stevens

Division II, Mike Sigmon, Charlie Powell, David Tuggle, Dana Dixon, Steve Hundley & James DeHart

Division III, David Dew, Lynn Gibson & Jack Dodson

Division IV, Billy Reese & Jerry Showalter


November 1992-Elections were held with the following results:

President: Danny Barber

Vice President: Johnnie Dodd

Secretary: Becky Payne

Treasurer: Ronnie Watson

Board of Trustee's: John Gammon, David Payne & Frank Howerton

Executive Board: Byron Taylor, Tom Hall, Wayne Teague, Jimmy Davis, Larry Journigan,

Division Chairmen: Division I, Jerry Stevens

Division II, Charlie Powell

Division III, Jack Dodson

Division IV, Billy Reese


February 1993-URW implements a COPE check-off. For every $2.00 a member

donates, they will get a ticket placed in the drawing of prizes given away by the

International. A TIP report was given by Phil Minter, Danville has 17 TIP teams



April 1993-Goodyear announces that the air springs plant in Green, Ohio is for sale. This would affect 250 people. Union's nation-wide protest BMW's plans to build a non-union facility in the United States.


May 1993-URW boycotts Acme Boot for runaway plant. Production previously done in Clarksville, Tennessee was moved to Puerto Rico forcing 500 people out-of-work.


June 1993-New contract at Greyhound Bus Lines is approved ending a three-year strike.


July 1993-The COPE committee starts a legislative update as an insert in the Informer.


October 1993-"No NAFTA" cries go out across the land. In a clear message sent to Congress, members are urging them to vote against any NAFTA legislation. Michelin purchases the remaining four B.F. Goodrich plants and tries to defeat the current contract language.


December 1993-President Barber & Policy Member Toller attend a Business Education meeting in Akron. Details discussed during the membership meeting. The first unionized McDonalds appears in Canada. A by-law amendment to draw names out of a hat for placement on the ballot is presented and approved. Physical Therapists are starting to work with the restricted work employees.


January 1994-OSHA urges a ban for all on-the-job smoking.


February 1994-Evidence surfaces that the Chinese Army is manufacturing goods sold in U.S. stores. The AFL-CIO begins a campaign against this trade issue.


August 1994-The "War of '94" begins. Bridgestone, new owner of Firestone decides to break from the pattern agreements of the rest of the rubber companies, resulting it a lengthy strike. During the heat of this strike, U.S. Congress striker replacement bills dies in Senate. Bridgestone attempts to implement a last/best & final offer.


September 1994-Bridgestone/Firestone strike gets nasty. Several charges are filed with the NLRB. Pirelli also is in battle over retiree benefits. B?F starts hiring replacement workers at three locations.


October 1994-AFL-CIO officially announces a boycott against both Bridgestone/Firestone and Pirelli.


January 1995-NAFTA, as expected, fails to deliver jobs or improve the nations trade deficit.


February 1995-The URW announces a special dues increase for the purpose of raising the level of the strike fund. A six-month B?F strike is draining the fund. Local 831 approves the increase.


March 1995-URW lauds NLRB ruling. The NLRB ruled that Pirelli must replace all the striker replacements with the rightful workers, unconditionally. President Bill Clinton and GOP at odds with striker replacement. The President supports the union's position.


April 1995-The 12-hour continuous operation schedule surfaces once again. The Informer ran a full-page comparison of the as-is versus the to-be of continuous operation. President Clinton signs an executive order barring striker replacements. House & Senate Republicans start pushing for a National Right to Work proposal.


June 1995-Workers end the 10-month strike at Bridgestone/Firestone. United Rubber Workers announce a merger with the United Steelworkers of America. Local 831 announces it will not support the merger deal.


July 1995-Local 831 moves to having three union meetings to accommodate the 6 2/3 continuous schedule in the banburys and support groups. Meetings will be at 7:30 a.m., 3:30 p.m. & 11:30 p.m.


August 1995-Steelworkers, Autoworkers and Machinists propose to merge by 2000. Union would be 2 million strong.


September 1995-Local 831 becomes associated with the United Steelworkers Press Association (USPA).


October 1995-Goodyear to build a new mold plant in Statesville, North Carolina. Goodyear expands Lawton plant.


November 1995-The membership meeting was filled with discussion as President Barber brought Employee Security Plan, 19 proposals, The Capital Investment Plan and the Gain Sharing plan to the floor. Another hot topic included the proposed permanent divisions for maintenance. Gadsden plant stops all bias-ply production.


December 1995-A memorandum on changing job postings from 48 hours to 72 hours was read and approved.


Elections results of the November Officers election was:

President: Danny Barber

Vice President: Archie Glass

Secretary: Becky Payne

Treasurer: William "Stick" McLaughlin

Executive Board: Byron Taylor, Tom Hall, Wayne Teague, Jimmy Davis, J.C. Reynolds

Division Chairmen: Division I, Richard Barksdale

Division II, James DeHart

Division III, Jeff Dixon

Division IV, Barry Bridgen



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1999--A Union year in review


  • Local 831 pays the SOAR dues for retirees for one year.
  • Donation of $200 given to family of Antoine Green who was a victim of a car accident.
  • Donation in the amount of $500 was given to the Providence Volunteer Fire Department.


  • Local 831 Supported "March of Dimes" Telethon at G.W. High School by donating $250 and accepting pledges by telephone for one hour. Executive Board member, Henry Stowe called in pledge during that hour and challenged all other members to match it.
  • Membership approved the appointments on local union committees.
  • COPE Committee attended the Virginia Assembly to lobby our legislators on labor issues.
  • Changed Union meeting schedule to the present morning and afternoon sessions.
  • Unification Legislative Conference held in Washington, DC. Conference speakers included: U.S. President William Jefferson Clinton, USWA President, George Becker and a host of other political speakers.


  • President Danny Barber and Policy Member Benny Toller attended the first ever ICEM World Conference in Cleveland, Ohio. The conference networked all Unions that represent Goodyear facilities.
  • Special meeting was held after regular March membership meeting for the presentation on Optional Life Insurance.
  • Members of SOAR traveled to Richmond to lobby for the credit union on Credit Union Day at the General Assembly.
  • Sent donation of $1,000 to Strike & Defense Fund of Local 850, General Tire in Charlotte.
  • One year anniversary of the Local Chapter of SOAR.


  • Several members of Local 831 and other Goodyear based locals attended the Goodyear Shareholders meeting in Akron, Ohio, in protest of Goodyear position concerning the announced closure of the Gadsden Alabama plant. The protest was in an effort to get Goodyear to treat this closure the same as any other and allow employees full closure benefits.
  • Union members and retirees loaded the bus for Charlotte, NC for a rally to support workers at Continental/General Tire, Local 850.


  • As provided for in our contract, membership voted on schedule choices with the 12-hour remaining as the preferred schedule of those offered.

  • USWA Local 831 co-sponsored a Car Show with the Virginia-Carolina Classic Chevy Car Club to benefit the Hatcher Center. Through fees, private donations, refreshments and raffles, a total of $7,622 were raised for cause. "Best of Show", picked by Local Officials went to Bill Daniels, 34 Ford Coupe.

  • SOAR Chapter travels to Lancaster, PA. Good way to see old friends and co-workers.


  • Union Education classes were held on the grievance procedure and distribution of work, including sign-on sheets.

  • Business Center "C" organized a food drive to benefit "God's Storehouse". Local 831 donated $500 worth of food items and challenged Plant Manager, John Shreve to match it. A total of 2,417 pounds of food items and money raised by a gate collection ($1,700) were delivered to an appreciative staff at God's Storehouse.
  • Local 831 Representatives attended the District 8 Summer institute in Blacksburg. Classes of several topics ranging from grievance handling to Family Medical Leave Act were available.
  • The Informer reprinted the first "Tool Box Talk" from March, 1982 as a tribute to deceased Division Chairman, Sonny Hancock.


  • Effective July 15, 1999, Goodyear announced a new Drug Policy.
  • The week of July 22, 1999, Local 831 became the home to Dan River District Cub Scouts. Union members, Rocky Fletcher and Tommy Scott played a major role in this effort.
  • Newport News Shipyard workers end a 15-week strike which began in April.
  • Membership approved the appointment of Dana Dixon as the newly formed position of Public Relations/Communications Coordinator.


  • The Local 831 members at the Goodyear Service Store ratified a new contract that included raises, vacation improvements and several letters of understanding on specific issues.
  • Union member, Ruth Williams received a settlement of $50,000 for an injury. This is the largest known award to an employee at Goodyear-Danville/Local 831.
  • Local 831 agrees to become a corporate sponsor of the 2002 American Legion World Series.
  • Donation of $25 to the Back to School/Stay in School program sponsored by the NAACP of Pittsylvania County.


  • Local 831 walked away from the District 8 Conference in Virginia Beach with two district positions. President Danny Barber was elected to the Wage & Policy Committee and Linwood Saunders was elected as a Welfare & Education Trustee.
  • USWA Local 850, Continental/General workers ratified a contract after a one-year strike.
  • Local 831 donated $250 to the North Carolina Special Olympics.
  • Executive Board agrees to buy tee shirts for union members to wear on designated Solidarity Days.


  • Representatives from Domestic Violence Emergency Services & Sexual Assault Crisis Center (DOVES) attended the membership meeting with a cry for help. They are expected to start construction of a new 16-bedroom shelter in early 2000 and are asking for volunteers to assist. Sign-up forms have been posted through the plant or you can volunteer by contacting the union hall. The "Women of Steel" will organize the Local 831 effort.
  • Annual Union picnic was a huge success. Prizes, entertainment and plenty of food.
  • SOAR Chapter travels to Pigeon Forge. Retirement attracts travel!
  • Goodyear calls a halt to the Gadsden closure, citing higher than expected market demand as the reason.
  • Women of Steel make plans for a Common Sense & Self-Defense course to be held in early 2000.
  • Donation of $100 made to the Goodyear Car Club for car show benefiting the Danville Life Saving Crew.


  • The retirees (SOAR) group held a Stew Sale to raise money for their local chapter.
  • USWA Local 831 went on-line with its' own web site, www.uswa831.com and soon to be also accessed by the URL www.uswa831.org .
  • Membership approved the appointment of Benny Toller as Pension & Insurance Representative, replacing retiring Nat Brown.
  • Executive Board members, Brenda Miles and Byron Taylor attended the World Trade Organization meeting in Seattle, Washington. The talks were being protested by labor as well as several groups for reasons detrimental to U.S. workers. Riots were an everyday scene; however, the Labor unions were one of the groups noted for keeping the protest orderly.
  • Donated $200 to the Strike & Defense Fund of Kaiser Aluminum.
  • Held election to fulfill the term of Ronnie Barksdale as Division I Chairman, Jeff Coleman gets the nod.
  • Local commits to adopting 2 needy families for Christmas with funding coming from the bake sale, donations and 831 rounding the amount to $1,000.


  • Jim Konneker replaces John Shreve as Goodyear-Danville Plant manager. Konneker comes to Danville from Tyler, Texas, Kelly-Springfield plant.
  • Local gave $200 to Christian United Ministries for the homeless shelter.
  • Purchased outfield fence sign at Dan Daniel Park to be held until the 2002 American Legion World Series.
  • Donation given to Local 240 (Rubatex) Strike & Defense Fund.
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Y2K--A Year in Review

The year 2000 was an eventful one for Local 831.? This listing is only the highlights.

January 2000

  • Local 831 holds shop steward classes.
  • Larry Eanes, International Representative, gave new dues structure presentation.

February 2000

  • Local 831 representatives manned the phones at the "March of Dimes" Telethon for one hour.
  • Supported the "Free Clinic" of Danville by contributing $100 to their ad book.
  • Donation of $100 to the Pelham Fire Department "Summer Fest" event.
  • President Barber appoints Dennis Saunders to the Safety Committee replacing Joel Ross.
  • Two members of the "Women of Steel" attend the first Women's Conference in Pittsburgh.

March 2000

  • Master contract negotiations start.
  • URW 831 Members Federal Credit Union employees become union members of Local 831.
  • Benny Toller is appointed as Pension & Insurance Representative replacing retiring Nat Brown.
  • Local 831 holds a gate collection for laid-off workers at Tultex.? The money ($3221) was turned over to the Salvation Army for distribution to families in need.
  • "Women of Steel" committee organizes self-defense class, which was a big success.

April 2000

?         Donation of $500 to Providence Fire Department's "Spring Fling".? We were stage sponsors for one hour.

?         COPE Committee reports on the 2000 Va. General Assembly's successes and shortcomings.

?         Purchased pagers for the Safety Committee for quicker response time to calls.

?         USWA District 8 Scholarship ($4,000) was awarded to Tammara Harris, daughter of Gene Harris.? This is the second such scholarship awarded to our local.

?         We sent 5 members and members of our SOAR Chapter to Washington to fight the WTO.

?         Local 831 observed Workers Memorial Day.? Safety Committee members passed out yellow ribbons.

?         Chris Eastwood and Hershel Stone of Edward Jones Investments gave a Union Education class on "Investing for the future."

May 2000

?         Union members and retirees loaded the bus for Bedford Virginia in support of Rubatex workers (Local 240) on strike.

?         Contract talks under way for weeks with little progress.? May 23rd expiration date is extended to June 23rd to allow Bridgestone to set the pattern.

?         New safety shoe suppliers selected.? Members are requested to buy American-made.

June 2000

?         Local 831 co-sponsors benefit car show.? The Hatcher Center benefits to the tune of $5,795.? USWA Choice Award goes to Tim Douglas with his fully restored 57 Chevy.

?         Hatcher Center presents Local 831 with a "Plaque of Appreciation."

?         Membership votes in favor of weekly dues deductions.

?         Local Union Representatives attend the District 8 Summer Institute in Blacksburg.

?         Delegates were nominated to attend the 30th Constitutional Convention in Las Vegas.

July 2000

?         Sponsored four bowlers in the Pro-Am with proceeds benefiting Breast Cancer and the Make-a-Wish Foundation.

?         Local 831 Days at Dan Daniel Park are held.? President Barber throws out the first pitch and union member Carroll Arnn and family sing the National Anthem.

?         Drawings held for 20 sets of four reserved seat tickets to the Danville Braves.

?         New USWA dues structure begins.

?         Negotiations are underway for URW Credit Union employees during a break from master negotiations with Goodyear.

August 2000

?         Our six delegates attended the 30th Constitutional Convention.? The four-day session was filled with informative speakers and constitutional amendments.

?         Communications Coordinator, Dana Dixon attends the United Steelworkers Press Association Convention and accepts the "Award of Merit" for Overall Excellence for Local 831's Informer.

?         Kenny Stevens, SOAR Secretary/Treasurer is given an award for Untiring Efforts to promote the SOAR Principals.? Local 831 Rapid Response receives the District 8 "Top Number of Letters" award.

?         President Danny Barber addresses membership about the new dues structure implementation with handouts.

September 2000

?         Local 831 donates $250 to the school supplies drive for needy kids.? Supplies distributed to Danville, Pittsylvania Co. and Caswell Co.

?         Sent a donation of $500 to Locals 164 & 303 at Titan Tire.? They are involved in a long-standing labor dispute.

?         Two Executive Boards members and two Officers attend USWA Leadership Conference in Lynchburg.

?         President Barber & Policy Member Toller returns to Cincinnati to restart negotiations.

?         Union Education classes taught by Johnnie Scott and Jimmy Davis.? Subject was "Piecework."

October 2000

?         Annual picnic held with record number in attendance.

?         Special meeting called for the purpose of nominating new Officers and Representatives.? This is the first election under Steelworker guidelines.? New Officer structure explained.

November 2000

?         Contract ratified by 8 of 9 Goodyear locals including Danville.

?         Donation of $200 to Hope Haven.

?         Two COPE members attend the Southern Labor School in Hot Springs, Arkansas.

?         Women of Steel co-chairs attend WOS Council meeting in Salem, VA.

?         Local allots $15,000 for the 2001 annual picnic.

?         Election 2000---Bush / Gore---The recount continues!

?         Election of new Officers and Representatives completed.? Local applauds election committee for a job well done.

December 2000

?         Local 831 adopts two needy families for Christmas.? This is the second year for this event.

?         Goodyear-Danville icon, Stover Shelton announces his retirement.

?         On December 5th, Goodyear Board of Directors approves the Stock Option Plan and stock prices are set at $17.68.

?         Union Safety Committee attends the USWA R/PIC Labor/Management Safety Symposium in Nashville.? Chairman Mike Baker presents information on our Danville Emergency Response Brigade (ERB).

?         Melvin Watson, USWA International Representative swears in the newly elected Local 831 Officers and Representatives.

?         URW 831 Credit Union employees ratified their first contract unanimously.

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One Tough Year--A Look at 2001

??????????? Every year has its' share of opportunities and its' share of shortcomings.? Unlike most years, this year provided us with more shortcomings than we would choose.? This abbreviated trip through 2001 will highlight memories both good and bad on a month-by-month basis.


  • USWA International President George Becker announces his retirement.? Becker held the President's position from 1994 until February 2001.?
  • URW 831 Credit Union begins New Year with its' first contract, ratified on December 11, 2000.


  • USWA Secretary-Treasurer Leo Gerard accepts the position of President replacing the retiring Becker.
  • Our COPE committee lobbied the Virginia General Assembly and submitted two bills generated by our local.? These bills concerned absentee voting and full body coverage as it relates to workers compensation.
  • As the tire business faded, Goodyear-Danville took partial weeks to ward off additional lay-offs.


  • The Local 831 SOAR Chapter continued their commitment to unionism and exercises their leadership roles to both the local and their membership.
  • Landon Fowler, son of Don Fowler won the District 8 Scholarship of $4,000.
  • Faced with another month of declining orders, Goodyear-Danville once again accepted partial workweeks.? Additionally, we faced one of the Danville's biggest layoffs.


  • Our Safety Committee handed out yellow ribbons for employees to wear in observation of Workers Memorial Day, April 28th.? Participation was rewarding.
  • Union member Winfred Tate (1110) won the Goodyear Spirit Award.? His accomplishments were many and his role in ERB training is to be commended.


  • Delta Dental agreement including the switch to Delta Dental USA was approved.
  • Mike Baker (Safety) and Mark Powers (COPE) attended the AFL-CIO Ergonomics Press Conference and Senate Hearing in Washington.
  • SUB Hotline was established to keep members informed of the SUB financial status.? The number is 791-9312.


  • USWA Local 831 for the third year cosponsored the "Hatcher Center" Car Show.? We have helped raise over $19,000 in those three years.
  • Our Membership Development/Organizing Committee sent letters to all non-members about the benefit of joining.? This kicked off a campaign that has netted 15-20 new and/or rejoining members in 2001.
  • Executive Board member, David Payne writes home from "Camp of the Woods" in Canada about his experiences.


  • Paula Hartman is selected as Shop Steward at the Credit Union.
  • Goodyear moves air spring jobs from Akron to Mexico


  • Solidarity Days with the Danville Braves was held on two nights.? Our own Carroll Arnn sang the National Anthem and union member Earl Guilliams had an opportunity to showcase his son Earl III, a Danville Brave.? Mrs. Guilliams and Anthony Carter threw out the first pitch on these nights.


  • As the nation was struck with tragedy, we memorialized and honored those who fell with a first ever, red, white and blue Informer.? The Hatcher Center helped the cause by making the patriot ribbons that we distributed.
  • A gate collection was held to help out with the tragedy and the funds was distributed through the Red Cross.?
  • Titan Tire and USWA Locals reached a tentative agreement.? This ended the longest tire company strike ever, three years.? Now that's Solidarity!


  • Union picnic was held on October 6th and despite some bad weather was successful.? Robert Wall won the Hawaii trip.? The laid-off workers collection begins.
  • Fentre Graves and Wayne Robertson went on the road for the Organizing Committee.? They were part of a team that headed to Kentucky to organize State workers after the Governor open the gates to give state employees the right to join unions.? Maybe Virginia and North Carolina will give its' employees a right to representation soon!
  • Both our COPE/Rapid Response Team and our SOAR Legislative Team received an Award of Merit for having written more than 1,000 letters on "Stop the Steel Crisis" campaign.


  • The Credit Union employees and volunteers held a yard sale to raise money for their "Angel Tree" for laid-off credit union members.? Over $1,000 was raised.
  • Perry Worley (union member) from the Virginia-Carolina Classic Chevy Car Club contributes $250 to lay off fund.? Local 831 decides to contribute the $2,000 it normally uses for local families to the fund.
  • MetLife demutualizes.? P&I Representative explains to membership that small sums of money will go to those who have participated prior to the demutalization.
  • Still facing bad economic conditions, once again Goodyear-Danville laid-off workers in the masses.
  • On November 12, most of the plant returned to the traditional (8-hour) schedule, with the exception of maintenance, banbury and support operations.


  • The "Women of Steel" committee hosted a Comedy Show to benefit the laid-off workers fund.? It netted over $1,100 and featured two union members talents, Robbie Hunt and Archie White.
  • The Danville plant had an extended holiday period with a Christmas shutdown.
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Union Highlights for 2003

January 2003

?         Michael Scarver, USWA PAC Director gave presentation on PAC at Howard Johnson

February 2003

?         Approval to send the President and Policy Member to the "Most" Time Study Conference

March 2003

?         Union holds first press conference with the media concerning contract negotiations. Six media sources attended

?         Gloria Gravely and Danny Travis attended the USPA Newsletter Conference in Nashville

?         District 8 Rapid Response Coordinator, Ronnie Watson spoke to membership about the current struggles of labor and the importance of supporting candidates that support labor

April 2003

?         $500.00 was donated from Local 831 to the Providence Fire Department

?         Vice President, Terry Trull reported to membership that the Union had a firm to check Goodyear's books and that the company is indeed in bad financial shape

May 2003

?         Local 831 participates in the Relay for Life, which is sponsored by The American Cancer Society for the second consecutive year and contributes $1,000.00 to the foundation

?         Update is given on negotiations in Cincinnati. Three prime things needed for the union members: Sucessorship, Job Security and Neutrality

June 2003

?         Motion to send two COPE committee members to the AFL-CIO Convention in Vienna, Virginia

?         Names were drawn for reserved seating to see the Danville Braves play on Solidarity Days.

July 2003

?         Local 831 members hold a parking lot rally at the Danville plant for the purpose of receiving information on negotiations and a prayer vigil for it's members and the community

?         Regular membership meeting was dispensed with in order to move into a special meeting for the purpose of discussing the rejected offer from Goodyear

August 2003

?         David Dabbs wins attendance drawing for the August meeting for $700.00

?         Executive Board Member, Wayne Teague retires after 30 years

?         Past Vice President, Johnny Dodd accepts his 30+ year retirement watch and pen set at the August meeting

September 2003

?         Motion is made to hold the vote on the tentative agreement on September 12, 2003 at the Union Hall

?         Tentative agreement is explained to membership by President Barber and Policy Member, Benny Toller

?         Motion to hold nominations of officers at the October 9, 2003 meeting

October 2003

?         P&I Rep, Benny Toller reported that open enrollment starts Nov. 10, 2003, COB forms must be filled out and mailed or faxed to Goodyear Medical Benefits Dept.

?         Local gets involved in a state education initiative to help individuals get their GED

November 2003

?         Union officers are elected

?         Motion to allot $2000.00 to support the Angel Tree for Christmas

?         Motion to donate $250.00 for the March of Dimes Telethon

December 2003

?         Eddie Robitson is introduced as the new District 8 Staff Representative

?         Women of Steel sponsors a 50/50 raffle to benefit the Homeless Shelter of Danville

?         Salvation Army Gate Collection is held at the Danville plant


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