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Filed 12/28/2006 Updated after 4PM for next day...
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Today’s News Headlines from Alabama 810 News

  • Union leaders support approval of new Goodyear contract
  • Oxford approves road projects for plant expansion
  • Talladega County rebounding from Avondale closure
  • St. Clair holds final commission meeting of the year


Union leaders support approval of new Goodyear contract 

Union Workers at the Goodyear tire plant in Gadsden will vote Thursday on the tentative labor agreement reached by the company and the United Steelworkers.  Union officials say that the Voting will take place from 5 a.m. to 7 p.m. at the union hall on Hoke Street in Gadsden.  Union members were given details Tuesday about the tentative agreement on a new three-year labor contract which was reached late Friday.   The new contract must be approved by a majority of the 12 Steelworkers locals covered by the labor contract and a majority of the overall membership.  If the contract is ratified during Thursdays vote, union leaders say they will shut down the picket line.  Workers also learned Tuesday that the Local 12 executive board unanimously supports the membership ratifying the tentative agreement as the new contract. The tentative agreement, calls for union members at the affected tire plants to put $1 for every hour worked into the Voluntary Employee Beneficiary Association to fund current and future retirees' health care costs. The tentative deal also requires the company to drop plans to close the plant in Tyler, Texas, immediately in return for an offer of a retirement buyout. That plant employs 1,100 workers and would close after Dec. 31, 2007, under the agreement.  The plant in Gadsden at one time was mentioned for possible closure but an as-yet-undisclosed incentive package from the state of Alabama persuaded company officials to keep the plant open.


Oxford approves road project for plant expansion 

While National Gypsum in Oxford is celebrating it’s 50th anniversary in the city,  The  Oxford Mayor and Council Tuesday night approved two major road projects increasing access to the companies plant on U.S. 78.  Included is the resurfacing of coldwater road from airport road to Wilson Willingham road.    Mayor Leon Smith said the projects are funded by a 381 thousand dollar grant from the Alabama Industrial Access Road and Bridge Corporation.  National Gypsum announced earlier this year an expansion of the Oxford plant which will include at least 15 additional jobs. 

Talladega County rebounding from Avondale closure 

Talladega County has begun to rebound from the closing of the Avondale mills earlier this year.  The latest unemployment figures show the counties unemployment rate dropped a full percentage point from October to November with a November rate of 3.7%.  Talladega County still sports the highest rate in the area, just behind Etowah and Calhoun counties whose rates were 3.5% in November.  Cherokee county reported a 3% rate while Cleburne and St Clair counties reported the lowest rates in the area at 2.8%.  The states unemployment rate of 3.2% remains lower than the national rate of 4.5%.

St. Clair holds final commission meeting of year 

St. Clair County will now charge $50 each for copies of audio recordings of 911 emergency calls under a new policy enacted Tuesday by the County Commission. Chairman Stan Batemon said that without a policy in place, the county could not charge for the audio tapes. He said most requests for the tapes come from lawyers.

The commission also increased from $10 to $25 the hourly charge for research needed to fill some requests for public records. The commission Tuesday approved a contract with Roth McHugh and Associates, LLC, to administer a $200,000 Community Development Block Grant to help with the expansion of Yachiyo Manufacturing of Alabama's plant in Steele, a $28 million project that will create at least 42 jobs.  And the commissioners also Approved a resolution proclaiming 2007 as the Year of Lee, in honor of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee, who was born Jan. 19, 1807. 

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