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French laws force failing tire factory to stay open
Hotair ^ | 07/05/2013 | Erika Johnsen

Posted on 07/06/2013 5:25:12 AM PDT by SeekAndFind

For years now, the tire giant Goodyear has been trying to stop the financial bleeding from one of its ailing factories in France, continually attempting to negotiate new terms with the unionized workers and getting continually rebuffed until, finally, the plant’s closure became the most economical option. The French workers, however, apparently feel entitled to the 1,173 jobs that the U.S. company provides at the factory, and the battle is currently tied up in court as the country’s largest trade union sues for imagined injustices; in June, a French court finally ruled in Goodyear’s favor, but the Confederation Generale du Travail has every intention of appealing the ruling, via the BBC:

Employees have also filed a complaint in the state court in Akron, Ohio where Goodyear is based. Seeking $4m in damages and class-action status for their case, they claim the company has violated laws on both sides of the Atlantic. …

“Goodyear is the biggest tyre maker in the world,” he says. “It makes $1.5bn profit a year, employs 80,000 people globally and there is only one village which is holding out against them – it is the village of Amiens.”

From the company’s point of view the struggle looks very different. The factory is losing $80m a year, it says, and producing goods there is no market for.

Goodyear’s attempt to save the plant and its profitability began way back in 2007, with plans for restructuring that would have included some layoffs and putting the unionized workers’ 35-hour work week on a more effective rotating six- and four-day cycle that would include nights and weekends. They didn’t like that at all:

Unions refused. The next year they went to court to prevent the company laying off 400 staff, and won. Last year they helped scuttle Goodyear’s plan to sell the factory to Titan, an agricultural tyre producer, in a deal that would have seen many more job losses (including voluntary redundancies).

It was in January that Goodyear finally announced its decision to close the factory, describing this as “the only possible option after five years of fruitless discussion”.

“French law says if you want to put all these workers on the dole, you have to have a good reason,” says Fiodor Rilov, the CGT union’s lawyer. “This may be an American company, with a headquarters in the US but they are operating on French soil and they have to respect our social rules.”

Oh, Goodyear has gained a newfound respect for France’s social rules, I’m sure — now perhaps France could return the favor and try to learn some respect for Goodyear’s right to not do business there?

This is just one of a string of examples of the ways in which France’s egregiously restrictive labor laws are directly hindering their labor markets and economic growth. Voices are coming in from all sides recommending that France do some serious work on creating labor flexibility as one of the prime problems dragging down their economy, because the meager reforms French President Hollande has introduced so far aren’t cutting it.

How it is that the French people at once demanded a path for economic growth and employment, and believed electing a regime comprised of Socialists-with-a-capital-S was going to accomplish that, is still unclear.


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Culture/Society; Government
KEYWORDS: europeanunion; france; francoishollande; tirefactory

1 posted on 07/06/2013 5:25:12 AM PDT by SeekAndFind
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To: SeekAndFind

Socialism at it’s best.


2 posted on 07/06/2013 5:27:19 AM PDT by exnavy (Fish or cut bait ...Got ammo, Godspeed!)
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To: SeekAndFind

It’s wrong to be French.


3 posted on 07/06/2013 5:29:25 AM PDT by Drango (A liberal's compassion is limited only by the size of someone else's wallet.)
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To: SeekAndFind

From the article: Fiodor Rilov, the CGT union’s lawyer. “This may be an American company, with a headquarters in the US but they are operating on French soil and they have to respect our social rules.”

That’s all you need on this one...when ‘social rules’ trump economic reality, the inmates are truly in charge of the asylum.


4 posted on 07/06/2013 5:33:19 AM PDT by PubliusMM (RKBA; a matter of fact, not opinion. 01-20-2016; I pray we make it that long.)
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To: PubliusMM

I’m wondering... if the factory does not have the money to pay its workers or debts, what does the French government expect them to do next?


5 posted on 07/06/2013 5:38:00 AM PDT by SeekAndFind
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To: SeekAndFind

Isn’t there a name for the situation where the government controls private industry?


6 posted on 07/06/2013 5:38:44 AM PDT by EandH Dad (sleeping giants wake up REALLY grumpy)
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To: SeekAndFind

I have some sympathy for Goodyear, but not a lot.

France can hardly be called a bastion of free enterprise capitalism. Union rules and government regulations have been in place for many many years. The communists have controlled the unions for years. The executives at Goodyear, I am sure, were appraised of the union and government environment before investing in that plant.


7 posted on 07/06/2013 5:39:16 AM PDT by Maine Mariner
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To: SeekAndFind

The government expects the company to pay the workers. Get the money from anywhere but pay the workers. They prefer a government loan which will default and then the government owns the property.


8 posted on 07/06/2013 5:41:28 AM PDT by EandH Dad (sleeping giants wake up REALLY grumpy)
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To: Maine Mariner

Who would buy Good Year tires in France, home of Michelin ?


9 posted on 07/06/2013 5:42:26 AM PDT by Eric in the Ozarks (NRA Life Member)
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To: EandH Dad

Why complicate things? If they’re going to FORCE the factory to stay open, they might as well nationalize it and be done with it.


10 posted on 07/06/2013 5:43:04 AM PDT by SeekAndFind
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To: Eric in the Ozarks

Good question!


11 posted on 07/06/2013 5:44:33 AM PDT by Maine Mariner
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To: SeekAndFind

Are we really that far behind under Obama?


12 posted on 07/06/2013 5:45:25 AM PDT by Average Al
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To: EandH Dad
"Isn’t there a name for the situation where the government controls private industry?"

Yes, its called "Obama's Secret Economic Plan"...

13 posted on 07/06/2013 5:51:58 AM PDT by Mad Dawgg (If you're going to deny my 1st Amendment rights then I must proceed to the 2nd one...)
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To: SeekAndFind

This was predicted...in Atlas Shrugged.


14 posted on 07/06/2013 5:59:33 AM PDT by Lee'sGhost (Johnny Rico picked the wrong girl!)
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To: SeekAndFind
I remember this: “The head of US tyre manufacturer Titan International told the French government Wednesday that his firm will not take over a loss-making Goodyear factory because the unions there are “crazy” and its employees “only work three hours a day”.

http://www.france24.com/en/20130220-goodyear-france-titan-taylor-montebourg-usa-unemployment-tyres-factory-unions

15 posted on 07/06/2013 6:12:16 AM PDT by Bronzy
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To: FReepers

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16 posted on 07/06/2013 6:46:01 AM PDT by deoetdoctrinae (Gun-free zones are playgrounds for felons.)
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To: SeekAndFind

They expect Goodyear to pay French workers from the profits made by workers in other countries, chiefly ours. Goodyear should just close the doors, walk away, say goodbye, and let the ridiculous French try to sue them in international court.


17 posted on 07/06/2013 6:47:47 AM PDT by MrChips (MrChips)
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To: SeekAndFind

This French union is going to find that the US court in Akron does not follow French law, and that US law is clear that businesses cannot be forced to continue business in a place where they lose money.

Now granted, Obama’s illegal NLRB forced Boeing to do just that, to keep a plant open in the blue state they wanted to close, but the courts are far less willing to violate the law.


18 posted on 07/06/2013 6:56:46 AM PDT by yefragetuwrabrumuy (Best WoT news at rantburg.com)
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To: SeekAndFind
producing goods there is no market for

The solution is really quite elementary, my dear Watson .... simply pass another law requiring all French citizens to purchase these tires.

19 posted on 07/06/2013 6:57:45 AM PDT by layman (Card Carrying Infidel)
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To: MrChips

Soon to be followed by someone advocating that they should impose huge tariffs on imports from Asia.


20 posted on 07/06/2013 6:59:18 AM PDT by bitterohiogunclinger (Proudly casting a heavy carbon footprint as I clean my guns ---)
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To: SeekAndFind
How is this much different than the NRLB telling Boeing it cannot move jobs from a union state to a right-to-work state?
21 posted on 07/06/2013 7:12:15 AM PDT by Mister Da (The mark of a wise man is not what he knows, but what he knows he doesn't know!)
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To: bitterohiogunclinger

We should tell the Germans that if they want to take France, we won’t object or try to stop them, as long as they take down European Socialism as they go.


22 posted on 07/06/2013 7:13:20 AM PDT by CarmichaelPatriot
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To: SeekAndFind

Goodyear should:

Pay for the homes the plant officials MIGHT own there in France. May not be as much as the constant & continuing losses.

Pick a holiday weekend and bring each & every AMERICAN there home for good, in a massive personnel movement. Make sure ahead of time that every passport involved is current. Charter the planes both for the personnel & their families & also plances for the cargo of their household belongings. (Kalitta Cargo delivers goods to the Afghanistan military deployed Americans—bet they would be happy to bring back such cargo if they don’t have full planes.) DO NOT make reservations on commercial airlines, where a leak of such information can occur. The crating of cargo can happen very quickly when there are enough workers involved.

Electronically close all company accounts over that same holiday weekend.

Pay off all local vendors in full. Walk away from the buildings & equipment.

Let the unions try to re-open the plant.

This is Atlas Shrugged in action!!!!


23 posted on 07/06/2013 12:08:54 PM PDT by ridesthemiles
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To: ridesthemiles

destroy rhe equipment first


24 posted on 07/06/2013 12:11:12 PM PDT by GeronL
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Thanks SeekAndFind.
25 posted on 01/06/2014 6:09:32 PM PST by SunkenCiv (http://www.freerepublic.com/~mestamachine/)
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