In a desperate bid to save their jobs, thousands of French and German employees at Continental have brought their protest to the car parts maker’s annual general assembly in Hanover.
Facing huge losses and a collapse in its market the company says it has to close two plants, one in each country, with a loss of almost 2000 jobs. But workers feel they have been duped in recent months into believing their jobs might be saved. They left the shareholders in no doubt about their anger. A German union represesentative said: “It’s the first time that French union members and German members of the BCE union have come together against the shareholders, who, as we have already said, are talking just about money, whereas we are talking about our families and our hearts.” Continental bosses say no definitive decision has been taken on the closure of the Clairoix plant in France, but that there seems no alternative. French workers staged a violent protest at the factory earlier this week, ransacking administration offices. Both the French and German governments are fearful the recession could cause social unrest in other sectors.