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French shop staff kidnap boss for seven hours

Clea Caulcutt · 30 Mar 2012, 10:43

Published: 30 Mar 2012 11:33 GMT+02:00
Updated: 30 Mar 2012 10:43 GMT+02:00

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Employees of French music and film store chain Fnac held one of their bosses hostage for seven hours on Thursday. They say talks over increasing pay and improving work conditions were going nowhere.

"Mr. Ferrec is in the middle of the room," said Christian Lecanu, representative of the trade union CGT in an interview with Business Insider. "He listens and keeps repeating, ‘the negotiations are over.’ For now, we do not know when we will let him go." 

For seven hours, over 100 staff France’s largest entertainment retail firm Fnac held one of their bosses, Bruno Ferrac, hostage in a Paris hotel to protest against low wages.

Trade unions and the Fnac management were in negociations to increase wages until talks broke down this week. Trade unionists say the company wants to give employees who earn less than €1500 a €15 wage hike. For workers, that was not enough. 

So when negotiations with Ferrec, the director of Paris Fnac stores, broke down, trade unionists, inspired a spate of boss-nappings in recent years, tried a more presuasive method.

Employees held Ferrec hostage for several hours hoping he would change his stance. Ferrac however spent the hours tapping on his Blackberry, according to French daily Liberation. 

Story continues below…

At 8.30pm, after a long wait, the police intervened and called for the trade unionists to leave the building and let their boss go.

Within the next half an hour, the employees had left - promising however to keep up the pressure on their management. 

Clea Caulcutt (news.france@thelocal.com)

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