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Michelin Workers Strike Against Noyelles-les-Seclin Plant Closure

Michelin’s Noyelles-les-Seclin factory in northern France was reportedly brought to a standstill on June 29 by striking workers protesting against plans to close the site next year.

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This news was published by the AFP press service based upon information provided by Force OuvriÈre union delegate Gilles Cocquerez; according to Cocquerez, 90% of staff at the plant near Lille went out on strike, and between 150 and 200 people staged a march through the town centre. A spokeswoman for Michelin confirmed that the factory’s production had indeed come to a halt.

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The strikes follow the announcement of Michelin’s plans to eliminate up to 3,500 French jobs by 2011. The Noyelles-les-Seclin plant, which employs 276 people, is to be closed down entirely.

Workers unions have labelled initial proposals made to affected employees – an offer of offered 20,000 euros to relocate to Michelin’s Clermont Ferrand plant or 22,000 euros to leave – as “disgraceful.” Cocquerez said the Force OuvriÈre union was demanding 50,000 euros for relocation costs, and 100,000 euros for those who leave the group.

A meeting between Michelin management and unions got underway on June 29, however, according to AFP, a leader of the CGT union said the unions were demanding more economic data before agreeing to start negotiating on the layoff plans across the group. (Tyres & Accessories/Staffordshire, U.K.)

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