HERSTAL, Belgium (March 14, 2001) — Belgian labor unions, backed by the International Federation of Chemical, Energy, Mine and General Workers´ Union (ICEM), demonstrated outside Continental A.G.´s tire plant in Herstal March 12 to protest Conti´s plan to phase out truck tires at the plant.
Unions want Conti to delay the decision until year-end, to give more time for talks about the plant´s future. However the company has rejected this proposal, the ICEM said in a prepared statement.
Phasing out truck tires at Herstal would result in job losses for most of the 700-plus workers there. The plant is one of Conti´s most modern facilities, and workers have accepted job cuts and pay reductions since 1997 to secure its future, added Central Generale, one of the Belgian unions, in the ICEM statement.
ICEM has launched a worldwide solidarity campaign in support of the Belgian Continental workers, ICEM general secretary, Fred Higgs announced at the Liege demonstration.