Clairoix Workers Occupy Conti Facility in Sarreguemines
The discovery that 200 burly policemen were waiting for them on the German side of the border led to a spontaneous change of plans for up to 500 workers from Continental’s Clairoix, France factory. Instead of heading in the direction of a company facility in Aachen, the workers have opted to avoid the Polizei and remain on French soil. Thus they have turned their attention to the Conti plant in Sarreguemines.
According to union representatives, the workers intend to block access to the facility, and remain in Sarreguemines until someone from the company is prepared to engage in talks with them. A number of those present seem prepared for a longer stay, having come equipped with tents and sleeping bags. Reports from the site indicate the presence of a thick pall of dark smoke and the tang of burning tyres in the air. In the side streets surrounding the factory emergency and police personnel vehicles sit idle, their occupants awaiting the possibility of aggression. At present, however, the atmosphere amongst protesting workers occupying the factory’s car park is said to resemble a carnival, with laughter and jokes being washed down with copious quantities of bottled beer.