Boss-napped French execs let go

TWO EXECUTIVES taken hostage during redundancy negotiations at a tyre plant in Amiens, France, were released yesterday after being held for more than 24 hours.

Members from the CGT union blocked the managers from leaving the site during redundancy discussions with workers that have been laid off by Goodyear.

The hostage-takers had initially said that they would not release the executives until Goodyear reversed their existing plans for the works, but the company refused to negotiate further until the two men were let out.

The men exited the site flanked by police officers yesterday, after the activists’ behaviour was condemned by Arnaud Montebourg, industry minister in President Francois Hollande’s socialist party government.

Over 1,000 workers are set to lose their jobs as the branch is wound down by the US firm.

During 2009, there were a series of similar incidents in France, but the practice has not been used in recent years.

Three British managers were caught up in the original spate of lock-ins in the aftermath of the financial crisis, as Scapa Group planned to close a factory in the French Alps.

Despite the marginal improvement in many Eurozone economies over the last year, French business surveys continue to indicate that firms are struggling to expand, and poor conditions may have pushed them back into a shallow recession during the last quarter of 2013.