French court orders Goodyear to stop stripping factory

A French court has ordered US tyre company Goodyear to stop dismantling its former factory in the northern town of Amiens, which a group of ex-employees wants to take over, a union lawyer said Monday.

The court in Amiens "has suspended the dismantlement of the factory for three months," said Fiodor Rilov, a lawyer for the CGT trade union which is supporting the effort to resurrect production at the site which had employed 1,173 people.

Goodyear closed the site making tyres for agricultural vehicles last year after years of negotiations with unions failed to come up with a viable plan for the plant and then talks failed with Titan International to take it over.

The site became a sort of poster child for poor labour-management relations and the difficulties of investing in France.

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