Former CGT leader Mickael Wamen, before the industrial tribunal concerning Goodyear, January 28, 2020. - AFP
- More than 800 employees of the Goodyear tire factory in Amiens-Nord were back on Tuesday before the industrial tribunal.
- They contest their dismissal which occurred in 2014.
- The compensation requested by former employees amounts to two to four years' salary.
"Justice is long," but "we will get it." More than 800 ex-employees of the Goodyear tire factory in Amiens-Nord were back on Tuesday before the industrial tribunal to contest their dismissal in 2014, according to AFP.
In the parking lot of the Amiens convention center, where this extraordinary audience is relocated, the ex-CGT leader of the factory, Mickaël Wamen, addressed the former employees: “The closure of our factory, its relocation and our long-term unemployment have only one name: finance! "
A standoff over six years old
By 8 am, several hundred ex-Goodyears had gathered demanding "justice for the 832 former employees". They were joined by workers from the Cargill factory in Haubourdin, in the North, where a social plan is being prepared. Also present were agents of the Lille hospital center as well as the deputies of the Somme, François Ruffin, and of the Seine-Saint-Denis, Eric Coquerel (LFI).
Specializing in the production of agricultural tires, the Goodyear factory in Amiens-Nord had closed in January 2014, after a standoff of more than six years between staff and management. This closure had led to the loss of 1,143 jobs and made the company a symbol of the deindustrialization of workers' bastions.
The first hearing, on October 4, 2018, was attended by 400 to 500 people. But the four industrial tribunal advisers, lay judges representing employees and employers equally, had failed to decide.
Compensation requested for a dismissal "without real cause"
Tensions are still high between the two parties. “Goodyear doesn't care about the face of the world. In 2014, the group made 2.5 billion euros in net profit, (…) and they come to tell us that it is for economic reasons that they dismissed 1,143 people ”exclaimed François Ruffin.
For their part, the three management lawyers had highlighted the difficulties of the "extremely loss-making" factory since 2007. Difficulties which were aggravated by the "severe crisis" of 2009. According to the defense of management, the net debt of the group was 5.267 billion dollars at the time of closure.
Once again, the 832 ex-employees came to claim compensation mainly on the grounds that "their dismissal would be without real and serious cause" but also "for the damage suffered as a result of the employer's failure to provide work ". The compensation requested amounts to two to four years' salary.
Has Goodyear dismissed more than a thousand employees without any real and serious cause?
- François Ruffin