France: workers take Sony executive hostage

Workers at a Sony plant in Pontonx-sur-l’Adour, France, who took hostage the chief executive of the Japanese group’s French arm, released him and other managers after they agreed to discuss severance terms. Serge Foucher and the other executives were released March 13 after workers obtained guarantees that they would open a new round of negotiations.

Union representatives said that taking the men hostage was the only way to revive talks on severance packages for workers who will lose their jobs when the factory closes next month. Workers locked up the managers in the plant and blocked the road to the site with tree trunks. The Sony plant, which produced magnetic components and employs 311 workers, is scheduled to close for good April 17. Foucher was taken hostage during a visit to the plant on March 12, his last due before the planned closure. (AlJazeera, March 13)

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