French union workers hold bosses captive over Goodyear plant talks

06 January 2014 23:34  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS)--Angry French workers are holding two Goodyear plant managers captive following a meeting between management and the union over plans to close the US-based producer’s facility in Amiens, France.

"Clearly it was no longer possible to keep fighting for our jobs," Mickael Wamen, the union president, was quoted by The Associated Press (AP) as telling LCI television. "So we decided to change tactics and fight for the largest compensation possible."

Union workers are demanding an €80,000 ($108,000) severance package as for €2,500 for each year worked in exchange for freeing the two bosses, the AP reported.

According to the AP, journalists allowed to enter the room where the managers were being held said that atmosphere was similar to a college dorm, with several union members laughing and cheering as others rolled a tractor tyre into the doorway.

The US-based tyre producer condemned the union’s actions.

"This kind of initiative, always to be condemned, is especially inopportune and counterproductive at a time when we should concentrate on the future of employees affected by the restructuring, after several years looking for a solution," Goodyear said in a statement.

About 1,200 jobs would affected by the planned shutdown, which has been in the works for several years.

Goodyear has said that the plant, which produces consumer and farm tyres, is no longer competitive.

($1 = €0.74)

By: Jeremy Pafford
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