FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. (WNCN) — With a 5-year contract coming to its expiration at 6 p.m. Friday, employees of the Goodyear tire plant in Fayetteville gathered outside its doors to demand one thing — “a fair contract.”

UPDATE: Fayetteville Goodyear plant strike averted with tentative 4-year agreement

A CBS 17 crew at the scene has heard the same call to action from workers in the crowd forming near the plant’s entrance before 6 p.m., including reps of the “Steel Workers 959” union.

The union, so far, has proposed across-the-board increases in the wage grade rates and cost of living increases for all employees in a new agreement as well as improvements to healthcare.

As decision makers negotiated inside the building, employees continued to gain in numbers outside.

UPDATE: Fayetteville Goodyear plant strike averted with tentative 4-year agreement

There is no indication that a strike has officially begun. At about 6:10 p.m. the crowd was being told that the contract was being put on a 24-hour extension.

A union representative, Rodney Thompson spoke through a megaphone about the extension, telling employees, “We made progress today.”

Photo by Ray Duffy/CBS 17

According to Thompson, the proposed improvements to employee wages and healthcare have been approved, but other factors are still on the table to be negotiated.

UPDATE: Fayetteville Goodyear plant strike averted with tentative 4-year agreement

“We made significant gains today with our healthcare insurance general wage increases. Some of the other items are like language in our contract and we can’t afford to go without their sticking points so, so the other presidents and locals decided they wanted an extension… okay, they’re gonna do a 24-hour extension so the deadline now will be 6 p.m. tomorrow,” Thompson said.

The plant processes roughly 40,000 units of tires each day and employs 2,900 workers under the expiring contract.