Goodyear Managers Held by French Union in Plant Dispute

Two managers at Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co.’s French subsidiary were taken hostage by the CGT union and other workers in a dispute over closing a plant.

“The director and the head of human resources have been retained” this morning, Mickael Wamen, the CGT leader at Goodyear’s Amiens-Nord factory in northern France, said today by phone. “They’ll be held hostage until we have a guarantee that real negotiations will start on bonuses and severance packages for all employees.”

Goodyear, which employs about 3,000 people in France, announced plans in January 2013 to shut the facility. The company cited a failure to reach an agreement to raise productivity after five years of negotiations with the CGT, the main union at the site. The Akron, Ohio-based tiremaker at the time didn’t set a date for closing the factory.

Goodyear’s spokeswoman Mathilde Davadant wasn’t immediately available to comment on the situation today.

Efforts to shut the factory led to 19 police officers getting injured in March after clashes with protesting workers. A month earlier, the 1,173 Goodyear workers whose jobs are at risk demonstrated with their spouses and children. The CGT has also filed a lawsuit against Goodyear in Ohio.

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