AMIENS, France (May 2, 2008) — Goodyear has notified workers it may cut 402 jobs at a plant in Amiens in a productivity drive but also said it hopes to negotiate a settlement to make the cuts unnecessary.
Goodyear has said that its two factories at Amiens are not competitive. The plant to the south previously was a Dunlop site while the northern unit was a Goodyear operation. They are adjacent and together employ about 2,700, with 1,400 at the north site and 1,300 at the former Dunlop site. Both make tires for the consumer sector.
A year ago, Goodyear initially offered a package of investment and job security benefits in exchange for longer working hours and has slightly modified that proposal more recently. The workers at the Amiens-South unit have accepted the package, while the Goodyear employees at Amiens-North have not.
Goodyear has said it wants to upgrade the site with an investment package of more than $70 million to reorganize the two factories to make one integrated manufacturing unit and upgrade the equipment, permitting the plants to make higher performance tires. In exchange, Goodyear wants the workers to sign new contracts that involve longer working hours. Together, Goodyear said it believes these measures will make the plant viable.
In the latest proposal, the tire maker said the proposed cuts would reduce output by 38 percent.
However, a spokesman added, “In the meantime, even at this late stage we hope the situation can be resolved.” He said the final plan will be announced on May 13.