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Why the French are Awesome XVIII


 

When the going gets tough, the French turn to Bossnapping:

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PARIS, March 25, 2009 (AFP) – Bosses across the world are having to break bad news to employees as companies go under. But that can be a risky business in France, where some furious workers have taken to holding their managers hostage to demand better pay-offs. In the latest outbreak of “bossnapping”, workers at a pharmaceutical factory were Wednesday holding their boss in his office for a second day to force him to improve their redundancy packages.

“This action is our only currency. But there is no aggression,” said union representative Jean-Francois Caparros from the plant owned by the US industrial conglomerate 3M in the central town of Pithiviers.

The detention came less than two weeks after workers held the boss of Sony France hostage for a night and barricaded their factory entrance with tree trunks. They freed him only after he agreed to reopen talks on their pay-off. In neither case did police intervene to free the managers, in a tacit recognition that such radical tactics were part of negotiations and that no harm would come to the bosses.

“It’s true that this might seem surprising abroad, but it’s less surprising in France, where we’re more used to this kind of situation,” said a Sony spokeswoman.


 
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Why the French are Awesome XVIII

  1. I was going to say that the best move by a boss in this situation would be to agree to whatever the employees wanted, as surely no court would ever uphold a settlement made while one party was holding the other party hostage.

    Then I read this “in neither case did police intervene to free the managers, in a tacit recognition that such radical tactics were part of negotiations and that no harm would come to the bosses”. So, uh, being detained against your will isn’t considered a “harm” in France???

    • “So, uh, being detained against your will isn’t considered a “harm” in France???”

      Apparently it is not considered aggressive either, at least according to Caparros.

    • In Canada we do it better. We sign agreements. Maybe.

  2. At least they’re not doing what their ancestors did back in the late 18th centruy when they weren’t happy with the boss.

  3. It’s more than a little shocking that this is allowed to occur. It strikes me as odd that you seem to be applauding it, Mr. Potter.

    • I wouldn’t go so far as to say that Andrew is applauding the practise per se.

      I rather took his headline to mean more “It’s so great how completely insane the French are!”. I mean, it’s a pretty crazy story, and that sort of thing seriously shouldn’t be allowed to occur, but it’s also pretty hilarious.

  4. The french are awesome.
    Except for the fact they want a share of profit in off-shore oil because of St-Pierre et Miquelon.

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