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.