Around 1,000 French workers at a tyre factory near Paris have arrived in Germany for a joint protest against plans to close factories in both countries.
Last month, Continental announced its intention to shut down its plant north of Paris by next year. More than a thousand people will lose their jobs, along with nearly 800 employees at Continental’s Hanover plant in Germany. The news led to some violence at the French factory but workers in Germany are planning a peaceful demonstration. “Along with our French colleagues, we would like to emphasise that we think the decision to shut down these factories is wrong,” said one trade unionist. “We have good arguments. In times of crisis, it’s wrong to slash jobs and transfer production abroad.” Weeks of protests have drawn nationwide attention on France’s Continental workers. On Tuesday, violence spilled over when their request to block the plant’s closure was rejected, and some employees went on a rampage. It was part of a wave of increasingly radical action by factory workers to fight closures prompted by France’s worst economic crisis in 30 years.