British Execs Released After Latest French 'Bossnapping'

By Harry Kimball,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 8, 2009 9:42 AM CDT
Britain's Derek Sherwin, Europe manager for Scapa, is accompanied by plant workers as they make their way to the mayor's office for negotiations, in Bellegarde, France.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – In the latest demonstration of French employees refusing to take job losses sitting down, workers at a glue factory took 3 British execs and their French manager hostage last night, and released them today, the BBC reports. The “bossnappers” demanded a renegotiation of their severance package from Scapa, which plans to close the factory due to lack of demand for its product. Scapa makes adhesives for the auto industry.

The action is the latest in a string of “bossnappings” that have the support of around half of France’s population. Some 45% of those polled find “this method of action acceptable,” compared to 50% who don’t. Even President Nicolas Sarkozy, who has called for the practice to stop, is on record as sympathizing with the “desperate” actions of workers. One of the kidnapped Scapa execs said when he was still being held, “there has been no violence and we hope to find a solution."