Around 100 protesting workers are occupying Goodyear's Amiens Nord factory in France, with pictures showing vast piles of burning tyres outside the facility, which has halted production.

The occupation follows yesterday's dramatic release of two senior Goodyear managers who were held against their will in the factory by workers believed to be aggrieved at redundancy terms as the manufacturer looks to potentially wind down operations at the facility.

"They [unions] are occupying the factory today - I don't have exact figures - I think about 100 [people]," a Goodyear spokesman told just-auto.

"The unions tell the media there are some meetings scheduled with the management but...there is no meeting in reality."

Goodyear is confirming its two staff have returned to their families after being held for around 30 hours at the plant.

"It's with great relief Goodyear learned of the release of the two managers...who were kidnapped Monday morning," a statement from the tyre manufacturer said.

"Each manager has now returned to their families and we warmly thank them for the dignity of their behaviour during this ordeal. The factory remains at the moment, occupied by a small number of employees."

The Confederation Generale du Travail union was not immediately available for comment.

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