- The Washington Times - Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Employees angry with a Goodyear tire company plan to close a plant in northern France have taken two of their bosses captive, holding them overnight inside the factory and demanding a change of plans.

Goodyear has been trying to either sell or shut down the factory for the past five years, The Associated Press reported. But every time the company tries, workers led by union voices call for protests and rallies.

AP reported the plant has become a nationwide example of France’s labor problems.

The seizure of the two plant managers — the director and the head of the human resources department — is not as uncommon as it sounds. French workers unhappy with the direction of their companies used to regularly take bosses captive in a practice that’s been dubbed boss-napping, AP reported.

Still, the practice hasn’t been carried out for some time.

Sylvain Niel, a labor attorney said boss-napping fell out of favor as a work protest tactic because any agreements subsequently reached between employees and employers were voided in court. It’s now used sparingly, as a desperate act by workers who don’t have “room to maneuver,” he said, in the AP report.

This particular Goodyear plant, located in Amiens, has a particularly troublesome past, and has been the site of several violent protests by union members and employees in recent years. The condition of the two bosses wasn’t made clear in the report.

• Cheryl K. Chumley can be reached at cchumley@washingtontimes.com.

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