• France's news in English
 
app_header_v3

French workers hold Goodyear execs hostage

Ben McPartland · 6 Jan 2014, 12:37

Published: 06 Jan 2014 12:37 GMT+01:00

Workers have taken two executives hostage at a Goodyear tyre factory in Amiens which was the subject of an international row between a French minister and an American CEO last year.

Union representatives have promised to keep the men captive until they have come to better terms for the 1,173 workers who face unemployment with the proposed closure of the site.

"Even if we have to wait three or four days, they are not getting out," CGT union representative Franck Jurek was quoted as saying by RTL radio. "We're going to get mattresses and everything. We're sleeping here."

Reports of the kidnapping first appeared in the regional newspaper Courrier Picard which said employees at the plant took production manager Michel Dheilly and Human Resources director Bernard Glesser, against their will.

The newspaper says a large tractor tyre has been wedged up against a meeting room door to prevent the pair leaving.

Representatives from France's biggest trade union the CGT, subsequently confirmed the two bosses had been captured.

"They are firing everyone without giving them a say in it," the CGT's Mickaël Warmen told The Local, when asked why workers had taken the move.

His colleague in the CGT Jurek added: "We want to return to the negotiating table and to see if there is a buyer, and if there is no buyer, then we want a voluntary redundancy plan for everyone with a lot of money."

Jurek said the decision to take the executives hostage was made on Saturday and represented a "change in tactics" after they had grown fed up of losing battles through the courts.

The Goodyear factory hit the news last year when France’s Minister for Industrial Renewal Arnaud Montebourg, wrote to America CEO Maurice Taylor, who runs the firm Titan, pleading with him to come to their aid.

Taylor responded by mocking French workers for being lazy and spending more time each day chatting, than actually working, saying he would not be so "stupid" to get involved.

Story continues below…

That response started a tit for tat row between the two, that descended into a row over American and French economic models.

It appears they had kissed and made up ealier this year when Montebourg announced that Taylor had backtracked and offered to invest in the factory.

Holding bosses prisoner is not a new phenomenon in France and became rampant in 2009 during the height of the economic crisis. 

For more news from France, join us on Facebook and Twitter.

Ben McPartland (ben.mcpartland@thelocal.com)

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
No time to lose in Libya says French FM
Forces loyal to Libya's Islamist-backed General National Congress prepare to launch an attack on the Islamic State stronghold of Sirte in March 2015. Photo: Mahmud Turkia/AFP

No time to lose in Libya says French FM
6 hours ago

Libya's parliament has given itself until Sunday to form a unity government.

France's 104-year-old twins say closeness key
Twins Paulette Olivier and Simone Thiot at their retirement home in Onzain. Photo: Gillaume Souvant/AFP

France's 104-year-old twins say closeness key
12 hours ago

"We are still alive because we have always stayed close," says one. "We pity old people who are alone."

Survivors torn by Eagles of Death Metal Paris gig
Jesse Hughes (L) and Josh Homme of Eagles of Death Metal. Photo: AFP

Survivors torn by Eagles of Death Metal Paris gig
13 hours ago

"I like the symbolism of going but I will not risk fainting just to say I was there."

'Hyper-terrorism is here to stay,' says French PM
French Prime Minister Manuel Valls meets Russian prime minister Dmitry Medvedev in Munich. Photo: Christof Stache / AFP

'Hyper-terrorism is here to stay,' says French PM
14 hours ago

"Large-scale attacks. It's a certainty."

French turning to web to find love (but they won't admit it)
Photo: AFP

French turning to web to find love (but they won't admit it)
16 hours ago

A new survey shows the French are turning to dating apps more and more to find their lovers, although many won't admit it.

A French ministry for women, kids, cooking and cleaning?
Photo:AFP

A French ministry for women, kids, cooking and cleaning?
1 day ago

You might as well have a ministry for "women, kids, cooking and cleaning", angry French feminists tell the government after the latest reshuffle.

Facebook vs France
Facebook to face trial in France over nude painting
THe Gustave Courbet painting "The Origin of the World" Is it art or pornography? Photo: AFP

Facebook to face trial in France over nude painting
1 day ago

Is it art or pornography? A huge row over the posting on Facebook of a famous painting of female genitalia will be thrashed out in a French court after a landmark ruling on Friday.

IN IMAGES: Bordeaux floods after heavy rain in south west
Photo: Laure Urbano/twitter

IN IMAGES: Bordeaux floods after heavy rain in south west
1 day ago

See what happens when the mighty Garonne river bursts its banks in Bordeaux on Friday.

France fires warning to Britain over eurozone veto
David Cameron and Francois Hollande. Photo: AFP

France fires warning to Britain over eurozone veto
1 day ago

France warned Britain on Friday it could not expect to win veto powers over closer integration of the eurozone single currency area in talks on its own future in the EU.

Revealed: The real romantic spots in Paris
Photo: Flickr/Damien Roué

Revealed: The real romantic spots in Paris
1 day ago

If you had to pick the most romantic spot in Paris, which would it be? See what a group of Paris-based writers went for when we asked them.

Sponsored Article
US taxes and FATCA: 'The time for hiding is over'
Lifestyle
Forget the EIffel Tower - Revealed: The real romantic spots in Paris
Sponsored Article
Back to Boho chic: Win your new season wardrobe
DNA tests on bomb vest suggest unknown Paris attacker still at large
Gallery
Ten expat complaints about their French lovers
Gallery
French expressions for having sex you won't find in your dictionary
What happened to liberté, égalité, fraternité in France?
'France just isn't what it was and it needs guns,' says Donald Trump
Features
Notre-Dame-des-Landes: Does France really need a new airport?
National
France's deadliest coach crashes since 1973
Business & Money
Champagne and cognac lead record French alcohol exports
Politics
Scandals and deals: Fabius bows out (but he won't be short of cash)
Society
The English called 'barbarians' after this 'massacre' of French crepes
National
This terrifying video shows why you should avoid the sea during a storm
Lifestyle
A closer look at the 11 different American expats you'll meet in France
Gallery
Ten reasons why France is a great place to work
Politics
Why France is unlikely to force UK to move border back home
Society
The French foods you need to eat (in moderation) to stay healthy
Lifestyle
So where do all the Americans live in France and where do they avoid?
Public warned as gale force winds and giant waves lash the French coastline
Lifestyle
How Paris plans to become a 'model' of cleanliness - that's not a joke
Only in France - Pig's entrails, cheese and steak sold in vending machines
Travel
Wait... that's not snow! Check out France's most unique ski slope
Culture
Don't panic, France isn't bidding a final adieu to the circumflex
Culture
VIDEO: UK group performs Shakespeare for Calais refugees
3,412
jobs available