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Captive Goodyear bosses freed at French site

Union leader Mickael Wamen (center) spoke to reporters as police escorted Bernard Glesser (second from right), one of the two managers freed Tuesday, away from the factory.
Union leader Mickael Wamen (center) spoke to reporters as police escorted Bernard Glesser (second from right), one of the two managers freed Tuesday, away from the factory.DENIS CHARLET/AFP/Getty Images

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AMIENS, France — Two Goodyear managers held captive by angry French workers were freed Tuesday after police intervened, ending a two-day standoff over the factory’s bleak future.

The release outraged union members, who made a bonfire of tires in front of the plant. It also left unresolved the larger problems that have dogged the factory in Amiens in northern France, which Goodyear has tried to sell or shutter for over five years. Union leaders said Tuesday that workers would occupy the factory complex until managers negotiate with them over severance pay.

The plant has become an emblem of France’s labor tensions. Workers, having failed so far to save their jobs, seized the plant’s director and human resources chief on Monday morning to demand bigger severance packages.

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