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Sacked French workers take another boss hostage

world Updated: Mar 26, 2009 00:51 IST

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Angry French workers were on Wednesday holding the boss of their factory hostage to try to make their US employers improve their redundancy package, police and union officials said.

The detention came less than two weeks after workers held the boss of Sony France hostage overnight before freeing him after he agreed to reopen talks on their pay-off when the factory closed.

The latest case was in the central town of Pithiviers where employees of the US industrial conglomerate 3M detained their boss late Tuesday to force him to renegotiate pay-offs and compensations for workers moved to other plants.

"This action (hostage-taking) is our only currency. But there is no aggression," union representative Jean-Francois Caparros told AFP. "Talks were held overnight but they led nowhere."

The factory, which produces pharmaceutical products, employs 235 people but 110 of these jobs are to be shed this year due to falling orders and another 40 are to be shifted to another plant.

There have been several cases of executives being held hostage over the past year by French workers outraged at learning that their jobs were being slashed.

Last week angry tyre factory workers burst into a management meeting and pelted their bosses with eggs to protest the closure of their plant.