US court dismisses class action suit by French Goodyear workers

16 January 2014 16:35  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS)--A US court has dismissed a class action lawsuit brought by French Goodyear workers over the planned closure of a Goodyear tyre plant in Amiens, north of Paris, the US-based international tyre major said on Thursday.

Goodyear is closing the consumer and farm tyre plant, affecting about 1,200 jobs. Plans for the closure have been in the works since 2009.

In a class action brought before a US district court in Ohio, the workers were seeking damages from Goodyear under a "bonus agreement" between Goodyear Dunlop Tire France and the Amiens works council.

The agreement entitles the workers to a bonus payment based on the number of tonnes of tyres produced at the plant.

The workers alleged that Goodyear, in pursuing the closure and in a failed attempt to sell the farm-tyre portion of the facility, broke the bonus agreement.

However, the court, in ruling to dismiss the case, found that the bonus agreement between Goodyear and the works council did not guarantee any particular level of production at Amiens, nor did it prohibit the downsizing of production.

"In fact, the agreement does not even ensure that the plant will remain open for any period of time," the court said.

The court went on to state that the works council could have bargained for certain guaranteed production levels, "but chose not to do so".

Likewise, the court found that the workers' allegations of tortious interference with employment contracts and fraud were not supported by the facts of the case.

By: Stefan Baumgarten
+1 713 525 2653

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