• Apr 15, 2009
Parts suppliers are experiencing just as much trouble as the automakers they supply. Employees at one company, though, have taken a tip from Somali pirates and upped the anger stakes. When Faurecia felt it had been wronged by Chrysler, it took Chrysler to court. When Faurecia's employees in France felt they had been wronged by the company they work for, they kidnapped three managers for five hours.

Faurecia announced plant shutdowns and restructuring in December, and some militant union members didn't appreciate the cut employees were getting, so they locked up the execs. In the immediate aftermath the union didn't receive anything additional. But last week Faurecia received €1.63 billion from banks and majority owner Peugeot, and union negotiations are scheduled to begin again later this month.

Faurecia isn't the only victim of the new tactic -- French execs at Sony, 3M, Caterpillar, and Scapa have also been "sequestered" for varying lengths of time. And they probably won't be last: surveys show that 45% of the French population find the tactic acceptable.

[Source: Edmunds]


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 33 Comments
      • 5 Years Ago
      Ah the civilized french.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Oh-la-la. So they kidnapped the execs at the beginning of the business day and released them 5 hours later, when it was time to go home. The execs should have known better - such announcements should be made before a month-long public holiday.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Bring in the SEALs!
        • 5 Years Ago
        FYI, the French equivalent would be the GIGN. And they are more akin to the FBI's HRT or SWAT in that they don't (AFAIK, anyways) operate outside of the French borders like a black-ops unit (such as the US Navy SEALs) does.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Shoot to kill.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Canadians took over a plant, barricaded themselves, welded the door from the inside... :-)

      http://www.autoblog.com/2009/03/20/worker-standoff-at-chrysler-supplier-plant-over/
      • 5 Years Ago
      If the companies hold out till June the kidnap victims will be freed because being good frenchies the kidnappers will need to go on their national 4 week longvacation then.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Polly, I completely disagree.

        I don't believe in the US it is about the corporation, that is Japan. Specifically because not everyone works for a corporation and long hours and little vacation is typical of the self employed as well.

        It is about the individual and consumption. People work and work and work, to earn more and be successful (in terms of consumption, status, wealth, etc). The corporation (in some cases) in just a means to an end. It is not altruism that causes people to work hard, it is selfish drive. Those with little drive do not work long hours, they do the minimum. It is the driven and those motivated to succeed that work hard.

        If it were about the corporation there would be no need for bonuses, stock options, perks, etc.

        It is absolutely about the individual. Its may be a little misguided on what equates happiness but it is most certainly about the individual.
        • 5 Years Ago
        "We work 40+ hours, yes, but we obviously spend some of those hours on message boards."

        Classic!
        • 5 Years Ago
        Sorry, I must have worded that poorly for you to so miss my point. You're looking at it from the point of view of the individual, not the country, which is what was being discussed. The U.S. laws for maternity leave, vacation and sick time, etc. were constructed for the benefit of business, not the benefit of the people, and even then only under duress. In most Western European nations they value quality of life more than they do in the U.S. and that probably has to do with better retirement and healthcare systems, but regardless that's still the case. That's why many have 6 (or whatever) weeks of vacation, generous paid maternity leave, etc. while so many here don't. That's the point I was trying to make.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Thanks Epyx!

        As a Frenchman, I take offense to the earlier comments. It's not like any of us working in the US (I live and work here, FYI) don't look foward to getting our X amount of years so we can get more vacation time.

        The European Union in general does mandate more vacation time, which IMHO, is not a bad thing, as it allows families to spend more time together.

        I do agree that the 35-hour work week is going overboard, but it's no reason to hate or ridicule. We work 40+ hours, yes, but we obviously spend some of those hours on message boards.
        • 5 Years Ago
        OK, France is an easy target but many EU nations have mandated long vacations and they achieve productivity on par or greater than the US. Norway in particular comes to mind.

        Sounds like sour grapes to me. So by your estimation, a senior person with 4 weeks or greater of vacation (in the US) is lazy if they utilize it?

        France may have gone a little overboard but I think the US is off kilter in the opposite direction. Work life balance is important for the individual, the family, and society.

        Instead of mocking a different perspective, maybe we should learn from it. The good and the bad.

        Why is every perspective on the internet black or white?
        • 5 Years Ago
        I'm with you Epyx, but here in the U.S. we've been highly trained from birth that it's not about the individual, it's about The Corporation. Whatever is best for The Corporation is best for us, and long vacations are not good for The Corporation. It's sour grapes too, as I guarantee that once these same folks got a 4-6 week vacation and affordable healthcare they'd be the first to defend it, but they don't so they hate those that do, but that's just human nature.
      • 5 Years Ago
      So France has joined the ranks of the third world ... that's news?
      • 5 Years Ago
      Epyx, your comment is spot on, especially the last sentence.

      Remember kids: bashing takes bandwidth and server storage! So everybody play nice now.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Considering the amounts amounts of bums I see in the street, people loosing their homes and jobs here in the US I wouldn't say that another country like France "has joined the ranks of the third world"...
      • 5 Years Ago
      Wonder if anyone will kidnap Obama's Auto Task Force.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Haha you people crack me up. A bit jealous are we? I can see no other reason for defending the fact that you do not have the right to vacation.

      And no, this is not a kidnapping. It's a protest, both valid and completely harmless.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Swede,
        No problem with the vacation, it is a great thing.

        However, this is kidnapping, in the name of protest or not.

        Per Wikipedia: In criminal law, kidnapping is the taking away or asportation of a person against the person's will, usually to hold the person in false imprisonment, a confinement without legal authority. This may be done for ransom or in furtherance of another crime, or in connection with a child custody dispute.

        Per Websters: Kidnapping -to seize and detain or carry away by unlawful force or fraud and often with a demand for ransom

        How does this situation not equate kidnapping?
        • 5 Years Ago
        If nothing else it is false imprisonment, if you want to parse words and make a distinction without a difference.

        "Intentionally restraining another person without having the legal right to do so. It's not necessary that physical force be used; threats or a show of apparent authority are sufficient."

        Such a subjugation of another's liberty (even for a short period of time) is inherently wrong and should not be defended.

        The ends do not justify the means.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Rick,

        This is a different bu similar occurrence with 3M. Does not sound like the person being kidnapped enjoyed it. I dont see mention of porn and treats.

        http://www.digitaljournal.com/article/269916

        "Workers at a French subsidiary of 3M, the American manufacturing giant, have freed the site manager whom they had been holding hostage for almost two days in a dispute over layoff terms.
        The Manager, Luc Rousselet, was tired and shaken but otherwise unharmed. He left the plant, in Pithiviers, south of Paris, on Thursday morning. As he left he was booed by workers, who called him an “American lapdog.” and a “Scoundrel.” "

        "Kidnappings and factory blockades are a regular occurrence in France during union negotiations with management as a means of increasing pressure, and have included wiring up factories with explosive materials and deliberately releasing toxic chemicals into rivers."
        • 5 Years Ago
        Kidnapping? Please. They all sat down for coffee and sweets and surfed the internet for porn for the 5 hours. Like they wouldn't do the same on any other day.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Why is everybody OBSESSED with work?
      Vacations are just as important as work.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Best title picture ever!
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