Thursday, June 27, 2013

Don't tread on moi

Entre pneus? Non merci, not on your life. Goodyear is heading out, when (or, if) they can;
The factory is losing $80m a year, it says, and producing goods there is no market for.
The battle began back in 2007, when Goodyear announced plans to stop making cheap car tyres at the plant and focus on tyres for tractors and other farm vehicles.
....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".
But, not so fast;
"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."
Sometimes called the Red Lawyer by the right wing press, Rilov is a key character in the drama unfolding in Amiens. The grandson of a Russian immigrant, he was born in London before moving to France, aged eight. He has a reputation as a workers' hero because of his track record in taking on several multinationals. He has often stalled or prevented layoffs and won compensation through his imaginative use of the Loi de Travail - France's fiendishly complex labour law, which runs to 3,371 pages. 
Wonder if that has any disincentive effect on potential investors in France?

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