Italian Bridgestone closure spurs strike

Kyodo

About 250 employees of a Bridgestone group company held a rally Thursday in front of the Italian Ministry of Economic Development to protest plans to close a tire factory in Bari, southern Italy.

The employees demonstrated for about two hours, calling on the company to keep their tire factory open.

Earlier this month, Bridgestone Corp. said it would close the plant in the first half of 2014 because of its deteriorating profitability and changing market conditions.

Italian Economic Development Minister Corrado Passera also urged Bridgestone to cancel the plant closure in a meeting with the company’s officials Thursday. They are expected to meet again in early April.

The tire maker’s decision drew a backlash from the local community and political circles, sparking a boycott of Bridgestone goods in some areas.