By John Russell
Akron Beacon Journal business writer
AKRON, OH — About 100 white-collar workers at Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. whose jobs were shifted to an outside vendor last month will not get to keep their jobs for much longer.
Some will be out of work as soon as April 30, and others will follow them out the door every few months until most are gone by 2006.
The news came as a shock to many workers, who said they were told earlier this year by Goodyear that they would all be offered jobs at the outside vendor, Affiliated Computer Services Inc. of Dallas (ACS), and would keep their same pay, vacation, years of service and other benefits.
But just how long they would stay employed apparently was not made clear.
“Goodyear didn’t want to look bad by laying us off, so they outsourced us so ACS could do it…. A month later, the ax fell,” said one Goodyear employee, who said she will lose her job in a few months. She asked that her name not be used.
Last month, Goodyear announced it was transferring 100 human resources jobs in Akron to ACS under a 10-year agreement. Goodyear, which has lost money for the last three years and is struggling to turn around, said it expected the move to save it $45 million.
The deal called for ACS to upgrade Goodyear’s information systems and take over or help administer the company’s payroll, medical benefits, call center, training, recruiting and staffing systems for all 40,000 Goodyear employees in North America.
But Goodyear did not say in its announcement that the jobs, once handed over to ACS, would last only a few months. And ACS said, as part of the announcement, that the arrangement would “result in a lot of measurable benefits for Goodyear and its employees.”
Goodyear said on Tuesday that it expected from the onset that some of the positions would be changed or eliminated, as ACS brings new processes and technologies to Goodyear.
“We are just over one month into our transition process with ACS and it is moving very smoothly,” Goodyear spokesman Keith Price said.
One former Goodyear worker said she was told ACS would transfer some of Goodyear’s human resources work to Jamaica.
Lesley Pool, a spokeswoman for ACS, said the job loss “is somewhat typical when you’re outsourcing and you’re transitioning the jobs.”
She declined to say how many people would be retained, or whether their jobs or functions would be moved to different locations. She said no decision had been made about where the work would be transferred, but acknowledged that ACS has operations in Jamaica.
ACS has more than 40,000 employees in nearly 100 countries, serving a wide range of customers, including General Motors, Motorola, Lockheed Martin and Nextel.
Goodyear has chopped more than 20,000 jobs in recent years and closed several factories in a series of cost-cutting moves. It has trimmed its payroll in Akron to about 3,000 workers, down from about 4,700 workers in the late 1990s.
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