Why the French are Awesome XVIII - Macleans.ca

Why the French are Awesome XVIII

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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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