This Day On The Street
Continue to site
ADVERTISEMENT
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here

In Grim French North, Worker Unrest Looks To Last

By LORI HINNANT

AMIENS, France (AP) â¿¿ Workers at a dying French tire factory who have become the butt of American jokes staged a last-ditch protest on Tuesday to defy anyone â¿¿ plant owner Goodyear, prospective buyers, even the French government â¿¿ to try and take their jobs away.

They've say they've been fighting for 62 months to keep the factory operating and prevent Goodyear from shifting work to China. Goodyear says the tires made in their factory no longer sell, and the European market for tires â¿¿ just like for cars â¿¿ is contracting. But the workers' efforts seem doomed in a larger sense as a labor model that features high wages, long vacations and short work weeks is increasingly being called into question amid a weak economy.

It's a growing problem across France, particularly as the Socialist government of President Francois Hollande is under pressure from the European Union and financial markets to focus on cutting debt, rather than trying to prop up loss-making industries.

The protests at the plant in the northern city of Amiens came after efforts to find a new buyer for the struggling factory fizzled. The most promising prospect, an American executive, sent a letter last week to the French government saying that the country's economic model is too worker-friendly and discourages investment.

The factory's closure was announced five years ago by Goodyear when workers refused to accept any layoffs. It will be at least 2014 before the French government intervention runs its course and the plant ultimately shuts down.

"I have visited that factory a couple of times. The French workforce gets paid high wages but works only three hours. They get one hour for breaks and lunch, talk for three and work for three. I told this to the French union workers to their faces. They told me that's the French way!" Maurice Taylor, the CEO of Titan tires, wrote to the French government official trying to find a buyer. "How stupid do you think we are?"

1 of 3

Check Out Our Best Services for Investors

Action Alerts PLUS

Portfolio Manager Jim Cramer and Director of Research Jack Mohr reveal their investment tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
Quant Ratings

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
Stocks Under $10

David Peltier uncovers low dollar stocks with serious upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
14-Days Free
Only $9.95
14-Days Free
Dividend Stock Advisor

David Peltier identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Trifecta Stocks

Every recommendation goes through 3 layers of intense scrutiny—quantitative, fundamental and technical analysis—to maximize profit potential and minimize risk.

Product Features:
  • Model Portfolio
  • Intra Day Trade alerts
  • Access to Quant Ratings
Options Profits

Our options trading pros provide over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.

Product Features:
  • Actionable options commentary and news
  • Real-time trading community
SYM TRADE IT LAST %CHG

Markets

Chart of I:DJI
DOW 16,102.38 -272.38 -1.66%
S&P 500 1,921.22 -29.91 -1.53%
NASDAQ 4,683.9190 -49.5780 -1.05%

Free Reports

Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs