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Tire workers confront French police over layoffs

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[February 12, 2013]  REUIL-MALMAISON, France (AP) -- Workers have fired flares and French police have sprayed tear gas in a standoff over layoffs at a French plant for U.S. tiremaker Goodyear.

The protest Tuesday comes amid a slowdown in Europe's car industry that has hurt automakers and their suppliers across the continent. Tensions over layoffs in the industry have plagued French President Francois Hollande's government in recent months.

Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co.'s French operation announced plans last month to close a factory in Amiens in northern France, which could lead to about 1,200 layoffs.

Workers protested Tuesday at Goodyear's French headquarters in Reuil-Malmaison near Paris. They set off red flares and threw paint bombs, and police responded with spurts of tear gas.

No injuries were immediately reported.

[Associated Press]

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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