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Sacked French Sony workers hold chief exec hostage

Liberté, égalité, fraternité at video tape plant

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Updated Sacked Sony workers at a video tape plant in Pontonx-sur-l'Adour, south-west France, yesterday demonstrated a bit of the old Bastille spirit by taking hostage the company's chief exec who'd dropped in for a final "courtesy visit" to the 300 dismissed employees.

The workers are apparently a bit miffed that their redundancy packages are less than those offered to other French Sony workers, and "dozens of staff" seized Serge Foucher at 5pm and then "barricaded the entry to the site with tree trunks".

According to the Guardian, roughly 80 workers presented themselves for picket line and guard duty at the factory at 8am this morning, while local authorities attempted to negotiate Foucher's release.

Patrick Hachaguer of the "communist-leaning" CGT union "confirmed that Foucher had spent the night shut in a meeting room". He reported: "He won't listen to us, we didn't find any other solution."

Those among you who consider the workers' reaction to their dismissal a little excessive should note that Foucher is fortunate not to be chief exec of Graziano Transmissioni India.

Lalit Kishore Choudhary was last year beaten to death by angry former employees at the company's car parts factory in Uttar Pradesh state. ®

Update

It appears Foucher has now been released, having agreed with to return to the negotiating table. More here for those with a command of the French lingo.

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