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A tale of two French tyre factories

Struggle of Dunlop and Goodyear offers insight into how industrial regions across the country are coping.

Last Modified: 10 Apr 2013 08:10
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This is a tale of two factories, both of them make tyres, both belong to the same parent company. But one is facing up to the future, while the other remains rooted in the past.

One is Dunlop: Faced with a downturn in demand in Europe, the company invested in new machinery to make higher-value tyres.

In exchange, the workers agreed to a new shift pattern. They kept their 35-hour week, but now they have to work some nights and weekends.

But the workers at the Goodyear plant refused to change their working conditions, and they took their protest to the company’s headquarters in Paris.

For them, France’s whole labour and social welfare system is at stake, threatened, they say, by the greed of the bosses.

The Goodyear factory is now set to close, with the company and the unions blaming each other. In the absence of a rescue plan, 1200 people will lose their jobs.

Al Jazeera's Jacky Rowland reports from Amiens in northern France.

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Al Jazeera
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