QUINCY, Ill.—Titan International Inc.'s on-again-off-again talks—some quite heated—with French government and union officials over the purchase of a factory in Amiens, France, are back on.
But they could end as quickly as they resumed because a number of key issues are involved, and only a few have anything to do with Titan at this point, according to Maurice Taylor Jr., chairman and CEO of Titan.
He said he has had informal discussions with Industry Minister Arnaud Montebourg recently, and he told the French official he is still open to purchasing the Amiens North factory—but only after the union representing about 1,173 workers at the site resolves its difficulties with Goodyear, which owns and is attempting to close the facility.
Taylor previously tried to buy the plant but failed to reach agreement with the union. The attempt ended in a verbal battle with the minister.
When the plant will be closed or sold is anyone's guess.
Goodyear wants to close the Amiens North factory, but a time frame for the shutdown has not been set and is subject to bargaining with employee representative organizations in the country and the European Central Works Council.
Goodyear and the union—Comite d'Etablissement d'Amiens Nord—most recently have been locked in a battle in Cleveland federal district court, where the CGT filed a class action complaint against Goodyear.
The union's class action claims the tire maker breached a contract with the CGT when it trimmed consumer tire production at the site without informing the union.