Goodyear French tyre plant deal possible

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It seems there is a fresh chance that a quarter of the jobs at a doomed Goodyear tyre plant in northern France could be saved.

Union leaders and the French government have confirmed they are trying again to negotiate with the US company Titan International about taking over the part of the facility which makes tyres for agricultural vehicles.

One worker at Amiens-Nord interviewed by French TV said he remains sceptical about a deal: “This would be good news, but only if it is true, and I have doubts… because there’ve been other reports that came to nothing.”

The potential buyer is Texan Maurice Taylor, known as “the Grizz” for his gruff manner.

He abandoned a takeover bid for the factory in February saying it was “not worth saving”, calling the worker lazy and the unions “insane”.

French Industry Minister Arnaud Montebourg says the American has now softened his stance and is offering to buy part of the plant saving the jobs of around 330 of the 1,200 workers.

However the CGT trade union at Amiens-Nord, which has stymied previous attempts to save the plant, is still talking tough and it remains to be seen what concessions they might make.

Goodyear has said it will shut the entire facility and it only remains open while the company goes through the lengthy legal proceedings needed in France to close a factory.

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