Michelin to Shed 2,800 Jobs

Will shut down plant in northern France

Sparking concern from the government, Michelin said on June 17 it would shed 2,800 jobs through early retirement and voluntary redundancies in the next three years.

The company said it will also shut down one of its plants in northern France at Noyelles-les-Seclin but will boost research and development funding at its Clermont-Ferrand plant by more than 100 million euros (US$139 million.).

"We're in a logic of consolidation in France and we want to continue to produce amid very aggressive competition," Thierry Chiche, Michelin's industrial director for Europe, said.

France's junior emploment minister Laurent Wauquiez said: "It's clearly a report that worries us a lot." He added that the government would ensure "that no-one is left by the wayside."

The downsizing will include 1,093 job cuts from 2010 and a program to allow 1,800 voluntary redundancies over the next three years, the company said, insisting that none of the planned redundancies would be forced.

The company said it also planned however to hire 500 people a year over the next three years in order to ensure a turnover in the workforce.

Michelin rival Continental earlier announced the closure of its factory in Clairoix, north of Paris, with the loss of 1,120 jobs, while Goodyear Dunlop has laid off 820 workers at its Amiens plant in the north.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2009

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