HANNOVER, Germany — Group Michelin has opened talks with union representatives at its plants in Germany that could result in the closing of one or more of the company's four plants there.
According to the IGBCE trade union, Michelin initiated talks with the staffs the week of Oct. 24 about the downsizing program.
The cutbacks would see Michelin "largely withdraw" from the production of truck tires in Germany, a move that could impact up to 1,500 employees, the IGBCE said.
Michelin plants in Karlsruhe and Trier face closure, the union said, while its site in Homburg is threatened with a loss of activities.
The French company's proposals have been met "with massive criticism from the works council and the IGBCE," the Hannover-based trade union said.
The plans are "completely incomprehensible to us and will meet with our resistance," Matthias Hille, head of the IGBCE district in Mainz, group advisor and member of the supervisory board at Michelin Germany, said.
"Locations that are as traditional as they are ultra-modern are in danger of simply being switched off without first systematically thinking through alternatives," Hille said.
Noting that Michelin had not provided detailed data on costs and profitability, Hille said,"… general references to overcapacities and markets did not justify such deep cuts' at the German sites.
"All the numbers have to be on the table. And then we will present our own concept and work out alternatives to possible closure plans," he added.
Michelin has as yet not responded to a European Rubber Journal request for comment.