Breaking News Bar
updated: 1/7/2014 7:40 AM

Captive Goodyear bosses holed up at French site

hello
Success - Article sent! close
  • Goodyear's captive human resources chief, Bernard Glesser, right, and the firm's production manager Michel Dheilly, sit in the Goodyear plant in Amiens, northern France, Tuesday.

      Goodyear's captive human resources chief, Bernard Glesser, right, and the firm's production manager Michel Dheilly, sit in the Goodyear plant in Amiens, northern France, Tuesday.
    Associated Press

 
Associated Press

PARIS -- Two Goodyear bosses held captive by workers spent the night inside a factory in northern France that the company wants to close.

The plant, which Goodyear has tried to sell or shutter for five years, has become an emblem of France's labor issues, and the seizure Monday morning of the two managers -- the plant's director and human resources chief -- resurrected the once-common practice of boss-napping.

Order Reprint Print Article
 
Interested in reusing this article?
Custom reprints are a powerful and strategic way to share your article with customers, employees and prospects.
The YGS Group provides digital and printed reprint services for Daily Herald. Complete the form to the right and a reprint consultant will contact you to discuss how you can reuse this article.
Need more information about reprints? Visit our Reprints Section for more details.

Contact information ( * required )

Success - request sent close

Sylvain Niel, a labor lawyer who has worked on similar issues, said the tactic fell away because any agreements under pressure were later voided in courts.

"It's a reaction of despair," Niel said. "They have no room to maneuver in the closing of the factory."

The Amiens plant has an especially contentious past. Goodyear's attempts to close it have been stalled by violent protests with huge tire bonfires, government concerns and France's prolonged layoff procedures.

Boss-nappings typically have lasted from a few hours to a couple of days. They are punishable under French law by five years in prison and a 75,000-euro ($102,000) fine -- as long as the boss goes free in under a week.

But generally the workers are not prosecuted, and in many cases they have tried to make the manager's time in captivity more comfortable.

Mickael Wamen, a union leader, told the Courrier Picard newspaper that the managers had refused offers of mattresses and blankets overnight.

"Things were sometimes animated, sometimes calm, but without any meanness," Michel Dheilly, the captive plant manager, told reporters allowed inside the factory.

The other captive manager, Bernard Glesser, was less sanguine, saying he would not give any statements under duress.

Niel said police rarely get involved, hoping to avoid inflaming the situation.

"These are basically honest people, in despair," he said.

Share this page
Comments ()
Guidelines: Keep it civil and on topic; no profanity, vulgarity, slurs or personal attacks. People who harass others or joke about tragedies will be blocked. If a comment violates these standards or our terms of service, click the X in the upper right corner of the comment box. To find our more, read our FAQ.
    help here