FULDA, Germany — Nearly 1,000 Goodyear employees gathered outside the company's tire plant in Fulda on July 3 to voice their protest at major job cuts planned for the site.
The protest, initiated by the factory works council, was joined by local authority officials and members of parliament, the IGBCE union of mining, chemicals and energy workers reported.
"This won't be a hundred-meter run, but a marathon," works council chair Ines Sauer told protesters, adding that "every single job is worth fighting [for]."
Goodyear disclosed on June 2 it had opened negotiations with the workforce at the car and light-truck tire plant in Fulda to cut that plant's capacity in half by year-end 2024, a move that could result in roughly 550 job cuts at the 77-year-old factory in central Germany.
At the meeting, union officials said Goodyear had presented "good figures" to its employees two months before the announcement of the job cuts.
The cuts, they claimed, are being introduced amid a "bad economic situation while some Goodyear managers earn multi-million-dollar salaries."
"It is incomprehensible to us why these job cuts should be necessary," Anne Weinschenk, Central Hesse district manager of the IGBCE rubber union, said.
"We are not prepared to talk about severance pay until we have a plausible explanation for it," Weinschenk, said, warning Goodyear of a potential long battle ahead.
The Fulda plant is one of five tire factories Goodyear operates in Germany, as well as one of 13 in Europe. The plant, which opened in 1946 under the auspices of the then-independent Gummiwerke Fulda G.m.b.H. enterprise, has a rated daily capacity of 21,000 units with 1,500 hourly workers.
Goodyear acquired Fulda in 1962. The brand itself dates back to 1900.