Bridgestone Corp. workers stayed on the job during the weekend past a strike deadline and continued talks with the company, in a show for support for the tire maker, already plagued by questions about the safety of its products. Around-the-clock talks are expected to continue today. The United Steelworkers of America union, which represents 8,000 Bridgestone workers at nine U.S. plants, warned it was prepared to go on strike at a moment's notice if progress stalled.
Meanwhile, Congress is to open hearings this week on Bridgestone's massive tire recall. Sen. Richard C. Shelby (R-Ala.) has scheduled a Wednesday morning hearing of his Senate Appropriations transportation subcommittee that will focus on whether the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration needs a bigger budget to investigate defect cases. Rep. W.J. "Billy" Tauzin (R-La.) called a Wednesday afternoon hearing with two House Commerce subcommittees, where testimony is expected from Ford Motor Co. chief Jac Nasser, Bridgestone CEO Masatoshi Ono and NHTSA officials.