What is in this article?:
- Goodyear to Close French Plant, Lose 1,100 Jobs
- Hit to the French Economy
Production of low-end tires for passenger vehicles and farm equipment at the plant resulted in a loss in 2011 of $83 million.
PARIS -- Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. (IW 1000/192) said on Thursday that it was set to close a loss-making plant in Amiens, northern France, which employs 1,173 workers, following a long struggle with trades unions.
"Closing the factory is the only option after five years of unsuccessful negotiations," said a statement issued by Goodyear Dunlop Tires France.
It added that the plan had been presented to a works committee and would be the basis of talks with workers' representatives.
Chairman Henry Dumortier said: "We are fully aware of the impact of the announcement we are making today and the plan's heavy consequences for staff, their families and local communities."
He added: "We are deeply disappointed that five years of negotiations were not enough to reach a compromise with representatives of workers at Amiens Nord. Today's announcement was the only option left to us."
Production of low-end tires for passenger vehicles and farm equipment at the plant resulted in a loss in 2011 of 61 million euros (US$83 million) according to Goodyear figures.
The decision was taken against a background of weaker demand for autos that threatens 20,000 jobs in France, where the new government has vowed to stem rising unemployment this year.
In addition to Goodyear, automakers Peugeot Citroen and Renault have announced restructuring programs that combined could see almost 19,500 jobs eliminated by 2016.
Franck Jurek, a leader of the CGT trade union at the Goodyear plant, said: "We have been battling for six years against 400, 800, 1,200 job cuts, we are going to keep fighting."
A new works committee meeting was scheduled for February 12, the CGT said, while forecasting a big turnout by workers.
Goodyear said that closing the tire plant was a decision "aimed at remaining competitive in the tourism and agricultural sectors."
A spokesman told Dow Jones Newswires the company faced "a very difficult economic situation with tough competition from Asian countries and a constant decline in demand."