In grim French north, worker unrest looks to last

In France's grim, jobless north, worker unrest endures beyond US firm's taunts

Associated Press

AMIENS, France (AP) -- Workers at a dying French tire factory who've become the butt of American jokes are staging a day of last-ditch protests to try to save their jobs.

The protests Tuesday at the Goodyear plant in the northern city of Amiens come after efforts to find a new buyer for the struggling plant have fizzled. An American executive who considered buying it sent a letter last week to the French government saying that France's economic model is too worker-friendly and discourages investment.

Union leader Mickael Wamen says Goodyear "wants to bring us down to the level of a Chinese worker who earns one euro and lives in misery."

Industrial sites across France are struggling in Europe's downturn. French unemployment is more than 10 percent and rising.

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