New ‘bossnapping’ case in France
April 10, 2009
A senior manager at French auto parts maker Faurecia was being held late on Thursday by workers angry at plans to restructure a factory southwest of Paris, a union official said.
The official in the CFDT union said the boss of a plant in Brieres-les-Scelles, about 45km from Paris, had been detained by workers in the latest incident of “bossnapping”.
A number of managers in France have been held hostage overnight by workers in recent weeks over planned job cuts. In each case, they have been released unharmed, often after a promise to restart negotiations.
French President Nicolas Sarkozy has vowed to put an end to the practice, saying workers angry over layoffs must nevertheless obey the law and not hold executives captive.
“What is this business of sequestering people? We have the rule of law, and I will not let matters go on like that,” Sarkozy had said in a speech.
“We can understand that people are angry, but this anger will subside with answers and results, not by aggravating matters with actions that are contrary to the law,” he said.
Recent polls show that up to half of French people believe workers are justified in taking executives captive to seek better redundancy packages during the economic crisis.