PARIS (AP) — Farm tires filled the doorway, and the two Goodyear managers were trapped in the conference room with angry workers demanding more money in exchange for the inevitable loss of their jobs. Monday’s meeting was not going well.
Goodyear has tried to shutter the plant in the northern city of Amiens for five years without success. Their latest attempt was met with a “boss-napping,” a French tactic that had largely faded away after the height of the economic crisis in 2009. More theater than actual threat, these aim to grab management’s attention — by grabbing management.
The Amiens plant has an especially contentious past. Goodyear’s hopes to close the plant have been hindered by violent protests that included bonfires of tires, government concerns and France’s prolonged layoff procedures. Now, the union is willing to accept the inevitable loss of jobs — but at a cost.