Hollywood siren Salma Hayek’s billionaire husband Francois-Henri Pinault fell prey this week to the growing trend of ‘bossnapping’ in France.
The act, which is sacked workers’ revenge on their boss, involves holding a person hostage in his office, not letting him leave his chair except for loo breaks. There’s no physical violence and the staff often feed the boss under siege.
In Pinault’s case, workers forced him to stay in his car for an hour after he finished a meeting in Paris; they were angry over 1,200 job cuts at his luxury stores. Riot police had to come and free him.
How is it that India, where pink slips are flying thick and fast, has not had ‘bossnapping’ cases so far? Rohan Narula, sacked from an IT firm recently, is all for it. “They [bosses] don’t think twice before ruining our lives. This is the best way to make them see what they have done. It’s an action that peacefully shows your aggression.”
Software engineer Bhanu Pratap Singh does not agree. “Layoffs are a part of cost-cutting,” he feels. “If they clear your dues and give a valid reason for the dismissal, I don’t think you should react badly.” Mallika Sinha, a PR executive, says if she is sacked, she would not bother with bossnapping. “I would rather find a better job and make my ex-boss see that it’s his loss, not mine.”
Bossnapping is a result of frustration among workers, and the best way to deal with it is to “have a transparent relationship with employees,” says Deepak Dhawan, former global head of HR at EXL Services. With few or no precedents, it’s hard to know how Indian law will treat bossnapping. “Guidelines on harassment may be applicable,” says lawyer Nitin Gupta.
Going by the French instances, most bosses know what the staff are facing, and the law is kept out of it.
Inputs from IANS