Goodyear to close plant in northern France

Goodyear to close plant in northern France
FIle photo: Dave Catchpole
Executives at a Goodyear tyre plant in Amiens, northern France, presented on Thursday a plan to close the site, which employs 1,173 workers.

"Closing the factory is the only option after five years of unsuccessful negotiations," said a statement, which added that the plan had been presented to a works committee and would serve as the basis for further consultations with workers' representatives.

Henry Dumortier, chairman of Goodyear's French unit, said: "We are fully aware of the impact of the announcement we are making today and the plan's heavy consequences for staff, their families and local communities.

He added: "We are deeply disappointed that five years of negotiations were not enough to reach a compromise with representatives of workers at Amiens Nord. Today's announcement was the only option left to us."

Tyre production at the plant led to an aggregate loss in 2011 of 61 million euros ($83 million) according to Goodyear figures.

Trade unions however remain defiant. When a similar raft of redundancies was announced in 2008 they managed to have the plan overturned in court. Workers are hoping for the same again.

"There may be a plan to close the plant, but there will be no closure," Mickaëll Wamen from the CGT union said last week.

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