'Bossnappings' on the Rise, Workers Angry

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Three British executives were taken hostage this week by angry workers in France after negotiations over the loss of 68 jobs collapsed.

Amid outrage over layoffs and the troubled global economy this practice called "boss-napping" is on the rise.

There have also been bossnapping incidents at French plants run by Sony and Caterpillar.

Two weeks ago a French manager of American company 3M was held captive for 2 days in a labor dispute over layoffs.

A banner outside the building read "3M wants to sack us. 3M has to pay."

French police typically stand off in labor disputes and don't get involved.

President Nichaolas Sarkozy has vowed to outlaw the bossnappings but polls show that almost half of all Frenchmen think its okay for workers in a labor dispute to kidnap their bosses. Even 40 percent of French white collar workers say bossnapping is acceptable.

Protest Against Cutbacks

At a protest against pending cutbacks by the German owned Continental Tire a union official said they shouldn't let the company close down.

"Otherwise it means that all these hooligan bosses can do whatever they want to and continue to do whatever they want to," he said.

French business and hiring is heavily regulated and its economy is all but stratified so it can be very difficult to land a new job. That makes workers facing layoff all the more desperate.

*Originally aired April 10, 2009.

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