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The Canadian Press - ONLINE EDITION

France, Goodyear workers reach agreement to end bitter years-long standoff at tire plant

PARIS - French officials and protesting workers at a Goodyear tire plant in Amiens have ended their years-long standoff with an agreement.

The accord, reached Wednesday, came after 10 days of negotiations between the government, the company and unions. The office of Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault said the "end of conflict protocol" puts an end to the occupation of the factory by workers demanding new negotiations over severance packages.

France had appointed a representative to work with both sides after two Goodyear managers were taken captive by workers and freed only after police intervened. Workers demanding new negotiations over severance packages occupied the site since late December.

For more than five years, Goodyear has tried to sell or shutter the Amiens plant, which became a symbol of France's labour tensions.

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