Ford Motor Co

Ford Workers Protest in Germany, Three Police Hurt

Three police officers were hurt and six people arrested after up to 250 Ford workers travelled from Belgium to the Cologne-Niehl site in western Germany to protest the closure of the Ford plant in Genk.

Protesting angrily against the planned closure of a Belgian plant  Ford (IW 500/6) workers burned tires and set off fireworks outside the company's European headquarters in Germany on Wednesday, police said.

Three police officers were hurt and six people arrested after up to 250 Ford workers travelled from Belgium to the Cologne-Niehl site in western Germany to protest the closure of the Ford plant in Genk, they said.

A police spokesman said the atmosphere had been "comparatively aggressive" when they arrived. An investigation into assault, breach of the peace and contravening the law on explosives has been opened.

Ford said that a meeting had been held Wednesday at the Cologne plant between management and representatives of its European works council.

Last month, Ford said it would close down a key plant in Genk, Belgium, as well as two facilities in Britain in a bid to steer its European operations back to profit.

The closures entail the loss of up to 6,200 jobs, equivalent to 13% of Ford's European workforce.

Earlier its chief executive said it would continue to monitor the situation in Europe closely in case further measures are needed.

"Everything we know, we have done it. We will continue to assess the situation," Alan Mulally told an auto congress in Berlin.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2012

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