• France's news in English
 

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.

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
France mulls new tax on home internet boxes
French culture minister Fleur Pellerin has revealed the TV tax could be extended to internet boxes. Photo: AFP

France mulls new tax on home internet boxes

13 minutes ago

With more and more people watching television online the French government believes a tax on household’s internet boxes may be the only option to raise funds for the audio-visual sector.

Ministry hired '40,000 undeclared workers'
France's Justice Minister Christiane Taubira has been left embarrassed by revelations. Photo: AFP

Ministry hired '40,000 undeclared workers'

1 hour ago

France's justice ministry promised Tuesday to take action after an investigation leaked in the press found it had hired over 40,000 undeclared workers on a casual basis.

Wolf attacks: French farmers kidnap park boss
Repeated wolf attacks on sheep have left French farmers frustrated. Photo: AFP

Wolf attacks: French farmers kidnap park boss

1 hour ago

Around 50 angry French farmers have kidnapped the chief of a national park in the Alps, demanding he take action against repeated wolf attacks on their livestock.

What's on in France
Ten great things to do in France in September
The Techno Parade in Paris will see tens of thousands of electro music fans will take to the streets of the capital. Photo: Thomas Samson/AFP

Ten great things to do in France in September

3 hours ago

Who said summer was over? It may be back to work for most of us but there’s still plenty to do and see this September. Here are some unmissable events around France.

Children among eight dead in horror Paris fire
More than 100 firefighters were needed to control the blaze which broke out at around 4.30am. Photo: AFP

Children among eight dead in horror Paris fire

5 hours ago

A fire in an apartment building in the north of Paris early on Wednesday morning killed eight people, including two children. A criminal investigation has been launched and one man has been arrested.

Eurostar chaos after migrants 'climb on trains'
Eurostar passengers left stranded on trains and at stations after migrants break onto tracks. Photo: AFP

Eurostar chaos after migrants 'climb on trains'

6 hours ago

Hundreds of passengers were left stranded on Eurostar trains in the early hours of Wednesday after several suspected migrants climbed onto the tracks near the French port of Calais.

French farmers in crisis
Hundreds of tractors en route to blockade Paris
A convoy of tractors is heading to Paris so best stay off the roads on Thursday. Photo: AFP

Hundreds of tractors en route to blockade Paris

21 hours ago

UPDATED: A convoy of around 1,000 tractors carrying hundreds of disgruntled French farmers is heading in the direction of Paris where they plan to bring travel chaos to the French capital on Thursday in a bid to raise attention to their desperate plight.

Calais migrants' crisis
Calais: New migrant' camp 'is not the answer'
The squalid camp known as "Sangatte without a roof" will replaced by what some critics are saying will be a new Sangatte. Photo: AFP

Calais: New migrant' camp 'is not the answer'

22 hours ago

The news that France will build an official camp in Calais to house 1,500 migrants has been met with anger by aid groups while politicians claim it will end up like the infamous Sangatte detention centre that had to be closed in 2002.

How do you compare to a typical expat in France?
One in four expats to France came to country because of a relationship. Photo: AFP

How do you compare to a typical expat in France?

23 hours ago

A new survey is full of revealing facts about expats in France, why they came here, what they love and what they loathe. So how do you measure up?

Smutty hacker creates France's rudest road sign
The hacker was protesting against a French court’s decision to drop all charges of pimping against former IMF boss Dominic Strauss-Kahn. Image: ivoidwarranties/YouTube

Smutty hacker creates France's rudest road sign

1 day ago

A hacker in Lille turned heads recently with a guerrilla protest which saw him reprogramming a city parking sign so that it displayed a series of smutty words for body parts.

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS

'Sorry Parisians, farmers are coming' - 1,000 tractors to blockade Paris
National
Winter is coming as Paris hosts Game of Thrones exhibition
Came for love, fear for job, but adore way of life - Are you a typical expat?
Would a new Calais migrant camp be a step back to the days of Sangatte?
Opinion
French education is in 'crisis' - Here are ten ways to fix it
French minister says 35-hour week not working in France
IN PICS: Police evict 300 people from France's oldest shanty town
Features
Take a look at some of the wackiest bars you can find in Paris
National
Feminist stunt sees French road signs changed for the day
Travel
Could coaches overtake trains when it comes to travelling in France?
Meet the five heroes who foiled the French train attack
National
France set for 'tourism record' of 85 million visitors in 2015
National
Paris students are helping police to warn Asian visitors about crime
Naked couple found dead beside French fortress
Europe's biggest science museum burns in Paris
Robber found half-naked and asleep in French beauty salon
National
Here are eight tips for blending in with the French while at the beach
Humans of Paris: We meet the man changing our perception of Parisians
National
France reveals new plans for Sunday and late-night shopping
Read about this revolutionary kidney op in a Toulouse hospital
National
Panic after four dogs 'poisoned' after walks in Paris park
France hit by huge summer spike in abandoned pets
National
France boils in second hottest summer ever
Technology
Meet Max - the first person in France to receive a 3D-printed hand
Politics
French minister admits to 'Obama engagement' tweeting mishap
Features
From giant bubbles to treehouses - here are the craziest hotels in France
National
How would you like to spend a night in the Palace of Versailles?
French manager paid to do nothing for 12 years
Features
We talk to Calais residents about their migrant crisis
National
Cow spared after fleeing from abattoir in France
FIVE reasons why everyone should visit Calais... yes Calais
Travel
France for adrenaline junkies: Ten crazy things to do
VIDEO: Slingshot elastic breaks on ride at French theme park
This plant might spell the end of the Asian hornet invasion
Who says the French don't like speaking English
National
It may be trickier to find a baguette in Paris this August
Killers of French student were 'inspired by Breaking Bad'
Ten must-see French gems you probably never thought of visiting
Is it time for France to force Britain to move border back across Channel?
Is romance in France just a "heterosexual concept"?
Can YOU pronounce these ten French town names?
Dog buried alive sparks French social media fury
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Germany

More news from Germany at thelocal.de

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

Latest news from The Local in Sweden

More news from Sweden at thelocal.se