CHICAGO (Reuters) -- Negotiators for the United Steelworkers of America combed through the latest contract offer from Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. for a second day Tuesday, in what the company said was a sign of progress in their months of labor talks.
The union said it hopes to formally respond to the proposal Tuesday.
Goodyear presented its latest offer to the Steelworkers on Sunday after three days of around-the-clock bargaining with the union, which represents 19,000 of its employees.
For the past two days, union leaders have pored over the 100-plus-page document, at times seeking clarification from company negotiators on various points.
"It is being reviewed in detail," said Chuck Sinclair, spokesman for the Akron, Ohio, tire maker. "We feel good about the union's review process and are hopeful we are able to come to a resolution with this offer."
He noted that union leaders rejected the company's first three proposals within a half-hour after each was presented.
Steelworkers spokesman Wayne Ranick said the union was still analyzing the current offer.
"There is a lot in the proposal that has required critical examination, and there's a lot that has obviously prompted very detailed discussion," said Ranick.
Last week, Goodyear had threatened to move ahead with unilateral cost cuts if an agreement with the union was not reached by Friday. But company and union negotiators talked past the deadline.
Negotiations between Goodyear and the Steelworkers began in March, broke off in June and resumed two weeks ago.
Goodyear has said it plans to cut costs by about $1 billion to $1.5 billion by 2005 to reduce capacity and restore profits, after losing $1.3 billion over the past two years.
The company is seeking wage and benefit concessions from the union as part of its turnaround effort, but has not said whether those plans included job cuts or plant closings.
The Steelworkers have sought to preserve job security and health care benefits and have maintained the company must first restructure debt and invest in its U.S. plants to keep them competitive.
Goodyear has already eliminated its dividend, stopped matching 401(k) retirement contributions, refinanced loans and put its chemicals unit up for sale.