Sony workers release captured boss

Discussion in 'Current Events' started by jaw04005, Mar 13, 2009.

  1. jaw04005 macrumors 601


    Aug 19, 2003
    The chief executive of Sony in France was freed today after being held hostage overnight by workers practising an increasing common negotiating tactic amid growing industrial unrest in France.

    Serge Foucher and Roland Bentz, director of human resources, had been prevented from leaving the Sony factory in Pontoux-sur-l'Adrour in south-west France following a protest over redundancy payments.

    "I am happy to be free and to see the light of day again," said Mr Foucher, following his release which took place when Sony executives agreed to fresh negotiations over the layoffs.

    The two executives had travelled to Pontoux-sur-l'Adour to meet the 311 workers at the plant before its closure next month as part of Sony's Y100 billion cost-cutting programme.

    But they found themselves locked in a meeting room while workers barricaded the factory with tree trunks.

    Unionists said the Pontoux-sur-l'Adrour employees had been given a less generous redundancy package than their counterparts at other Sony factories in France.

    They said had been offered €3,500 if they relocated, whereas the group had promised to cover all the relocation expenses of its other French staff.

    "We are all going to be fired. We want to be treated in a dignified manner,' said Patrick Hachaguer, a representative of the left-wing Confédération Générale du Travail union.

    Chantal Omiciuolo, 50, said the detention of Mr Foucher was "our last chance, we didn't have the choice."

    Mr Foucher's release came when the French authorities intervened to summon unions and executives to a fresh round of talks in the nearby town of Dax.

    Mr Hachaguer was triumphant. "We've managed to get management back to the negotiating table," he said.

    The incident was the latest in a string of similar flashpoints in French industry in recent months

    Last month, two executives from Michelin, the tyre manufacturer, were held hostage by workers who were angry over a factory closure in France for two days. In October, staff at SBFM, a foundry, stopped managers from leaving discussions in the local town hall. A year ago, the British head of BRS, a car parts company, was locked in his factory for 48 hours after announcing plans to relocate.


    My first reaction was that it was a news story from The Onion. I've been layed off before, but I've never locked my boss in a meeting room with tree trunks. :eek:

    I guess you guys handle it differently in France. :D
  2. CalPoly10 macrumors regular

    Sep 5, 2006
    Just like labor unions. The very reason many corporations are going bankrupt today.
  3. iJohnHenry macrumors P6


    Mar 22, 2008
    On tenterhooks
    Unions think they can, and sometimes do, get away with anything.

    A Canadian thing perhaps, but I give you the empty steel drums, with holes punched in the bottom, and skids fed into the top for burning.

    You try lighting a fire on the street in Winter to keep warm, and see how far you get!!
  4. velocityg4 macrumors 601


    Dec 19, 2004
    So, why is their no mention of these guys being arrested and awaiting trial for kidnapping, blackmail and conspiracy to commit a crime? Are these not crimes in France?

    Presumably the executives were held against their will and extortion was used to get more money. Or is it okay since it was a union and not one person?

    If this was a single person kidnapping their boss after being sacked and demanding more money for their severance I'd wager that person would be arrested and awaiting trial.
  5. oscillatewildly macrumors 68000

    Jul 17, 2007
    23 Railway Cuttings
    Working 9 to 5 .....

    Unions - Yeah, they should lie down and take it in the backside like everyone else!

    Destroying companies - Plenty of incompetent and corrupt management teams giving a helping hand.

    Both unions and management have members who abuse their powers.
  6. Kebabselector macrumors 68030


    May 25, 2007
    Birmingham, UK
    I don't know but as it's France nothing will happen. If people were arrested the whole of France would go on strike or they'd just block the channel tunnel/ferry ports as normal.
  7. Gray-Wolf macrumors 68030


    Apr 19, 2008
    Pandora, Home Tree
  8. oscillatewildly macrumors 68000

    Jul 17, 2007
    23 Railway Cuttings

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