By Oliver Hall
Hundreds of French workers burnt tyres in front of Paris’ old stock market today in their latest bid to raise pressure to prevent the planned closure of their Continental tyres factory.
The angry staff have staged several protests since German tyres maker announced in March that it would close the Clairoix plant because of the global auto sector crisis.
Xavier Mathieu, of the CGT union, said: “The Bourse is the symbol of the global crisis. It’s where people have for years speculated with the sweat of workers, and this is the result.
“They gambled, they lost, there’s a crisis, but we won’t pay for them.”
Management and unions are due to meet in Frankfurt on Tuesday to negotiate the closure of the plant, which employs 1,120 workers, scheduled for 2010.
Unions have tried to challenge the decision in court, arguing management had failed to consult with employees as required by French law, but the suit was rejected.
In previous protests, Continental workers stormed a company office and a government building, smashing windows, computers and furniture.