Goodyear Workers Take Over French Plant

Workers at Goodyear Tire & Rubber’s (NASDAQ:GT) French unit took over a plant Wednesday as part of an ongoing protest over the facility’s pending closure.

Goodyear spokesman Paolo Ghilardi said workers remained inside the Amiens plant late Wednesday morning, or in the early evening hours local time. He declined to comment on Goodyear’s position regarding negotiations with the union.

The latest move by the plant’s main union comes a day after police helped free two managers who were held hostage by workers for more than 24 hours.

Goodyear has been the target of violent protests over its plans to close its Amiens plant, which makes tires for farm equipment.

Early last year, Goodyear officially unveiled plans to shut down the factory after failing to come to terms with the union. The Akron, Ohio-based company has been trying to exit the plant for years but is still stuck in a legal battle with the CGT union.

French law requires that companies come to an agreement with unions when pursuing restructuring plans.

The French government has urged for another company to buy the Amiens facility. U.S. tire maker Titan International was seen as a potential suitor, but chairman and CEO Maurice Taylor slammed the workforce there in a letter to France’s industry minister last year.

On Wednesday, Taylor told FOX Business that his company may revisit a potential acquisition of the plant.

“We are very interested, and it’s not something that I would run from,” Taylor said on Varney & Co.

Shares of Goodyear were up 1.1% at $24.31 in recent trading.