PARIS (AP) -- French workers lobbed eggs and shoes and lynched effigies of their bosses at a protest Monday over the impending closure of a tire plant run by Germany's Continental AG.
A group of about 1,000 protesters rallied in the city of Reims in northeastern France to try to avert the shutdown of the factory in nearby Clairoix.
Faced with what it has called the collapse of the European auto market, Continental last week announced plans to close the plant in 2010.
Workers at the factory, which employs 1,120, agreed in 2007 to a 40-hour work week, up from France's standard 35-hour week, to boost productivity and keep the site open. Earlier this month, France's junior minister for industry, Luc Chatel said closing the site would represent a "betrayal" of the workers.
At Monday's protest, a few workers threw eggs and shoes at factory officials who had come to Reims for a meeting with union representatives, said activist Andre Robert of the CFTC union. The talks were suspended because of the unrest, according to a statement from the meeting organizers.
Protesters also strung up effigies of Continental executives and condemned the French government for what they deemed its lack of oversight.
Continental is facing overproduction of 15 million tires this year, the company says, and predicts a production total of only 100 million, down from 110 million last year. The Clairoix factory, where operational costs are higher than at any other Continental site in Europe, turns out between 7.5 and 8 million tires per year.