Recent editorials from Georgia newspapers:
The Augusta (Ga.) Chronicle on Goodyear:
Irate labor leaders at a Goodyear tire factory slated for closure in Amiens, France, kidnapped two members of senior management last week and held them for more than a day to demand higher payouts for laid-off workers.
The response from French authorities, in addition to not dispatching a tactical rescue team, went something like this: Eh, no biggie.
The so-called “boss-napping” at the Goodyear tire plant in Amiens is what happens when the snake of radical socialism finally comes full circle to eat itself - employees resort to lawlessness when the high taxes, onerous regulations and cradle-to-grave entitlements they are dependent upon force their employer out of business.
As mind-bending as this scenario sounds to Americans, who still enjoy a (mostly) free-market economy, they should realize the farcical drama played out at the Goodyear plant is not an isolated incident. Similar imprisonment-as-negotiation tactics have been employed at Sony France, Caterpillar and the country’s state-run postal service in recent years.
Though the French executives were berated during their 30-hour captivity, they were not physically harmed. And union representatives said they were supplied with ample food and water. How nice. Similar boss-nappings in other foreign countries have not ended so well, such as the CEO of China’s Tonghua Iron and Steel, who was beaten to death by workers in 2009.
Though Detroit labor unions’ hardball tactics killed the U.S. auto industry, we can at least be thankful they never killed anybody - that we are aware of.
The French incident closes the book on a dispute that started in 2009, when workers rejected plans to reduce costs at the facility Goodyear deemed too noncompetitive and outdated to produce the newest styles of tires.
Goodyear’s severance plans for workers at the affected plant have not been disclosed, but unionists were asking for packages ranging from 80,000 to 180,000 euros ($109,100 to $244,700 in U.S. currency) depending on seniority.
Any way you look at it, that’s a hefty payout. The question is, was it worth it?