Class Warfare, French styleFrench executive held hostage by staff | World news | The Guardian

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.

[From French executive held hostage by staff | World news | The Guardian ]

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:

Taking a boss hostage is becoming an increasingly common protest gesture in France. Last year, the English boss of a car-parts factory in eastern France was held for 48 hours in his office, sleeping on a massage table and being provided with blankets and sandwiches. He said he felt like “a prisoner in Alcatraz”.

In another incident last year, police stormed an ice-cream factory in Saint-Dizier to free a manager who had been held hostage by workers over job cuts.

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