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12 May, 2017

French workers seize factory & threaten to blow it up in protest over possible closure

Workers at a car component factory in central France have occupied the plant and are threatening to blow it up in a radical protest against their bosses as the site risks closure.

The workers at the GM&S auto-suppliers plant in the Creuse region, north of Limoges, have told Renault and Peugeot they are ready to blow up the factory if their demands are not met.

Some 280 jobs at the site are under threat after the plant went into receivership back in December, and workers accuse the two car giants of blocking negotiations for a takeover of the factory and of making too few orders.

The protesters have already started destroying machinery at the site. Photos released on social media on Thursday, show them cutting a machine in half with a blowtorch. Trade union representatives say the workers will destroy a machine each day unless their demands are met.

Parts of the factory have been also apparently rigged with explosives, with Twitter images showing gas canisters strung up next to a huge tank of liquid oxygen. It is, however, not clear if the canisters are filled with gas or are empty.

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