CHICAGO (Reuters) -- Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. and the union representing 19,000 of its employees were still talking early Monday in an attempt to reach a labor agreement after five days of marathon bargaining sessions, spokesmen for both sides said.
"Negotiations continued through the weekend. There have been marathon sessions; a lot of paper going back and forth," said Wayne Ranick, spokesman for the United Steelworkers of America.
"Both sides are working hard to see if we can get to a settlement that works for both parties," Ranick said.
Negotiators talked past a Friday afternoon deadline and continued working day and night over the weekend, spokesmen said.
"The continuation of the discussions is still seen as a positive," said Goodyear spokesman Chuck Sinclair.
"They talked 'round the clock for three straight days. By mutual consent they had a little rest last night and are back at it this morning."
Goodyear had threatened to move ahead with unilateral cost cuts if an agreement with the union was not reached by Friday. The company did not specify whether those plans included job cuts or plant closings.
The Akron, Ohio, tire maker has lost $1.3 billion in the past two years and is expected to lose money this year.
Goodyear told investors in April that it plans to cut costs by about $1 billion to $1.5 billion by 2005 in order to reduce capacity and turn around the company. As part of that effort, it is seeking wage and benefit concessions from the union.
The Steelworkers have sought to preserve job security and health care benefits and have maintained that the company must first restructure debt and invest in its U.S. plants to keep them competitive.
Goodyear already has eliminated its dividend, stopped matching 401(k) retirement contributions, refinanced loans and put its chemicals unit up for sale.