Thu 26 Mar 2009
French executive held hostage by staff.
Luc Rousselet, the French director of the US company 3M, had been held captive since arriving at the plant in Poithievers south of Paris for a visit on Tuesday. Staff took turns to guard him over 24 hours while demanding better severance packages for laid-off staff and better conditions for those remaining. The company, an industrial conglomerate best known for known for Post-It notes and Scotch tape, confirmed Rousselet had experienced no violence. Journalists saw him through the blinds of his office eating a lunch tray of a plate of meat and mashed potato, an apple and mineral water. Last night staff said he would be served mussels and chips for dinner if he was kept the whole night.
He wasn’t exactly stuffed in the back of car and kept in a cave, yet it’s hard to feel too much respect for the kidnappers in this case, no matter what the demands. While the kidnappers say there has been “no aggression,” they won’t release him until he gives in on something. It’s hard to imagine that fear and terror isn’t some part of this equation.
“Boss-napping” is not new in France: