3. Goodyear Nightmare
In America they would call it a kidnapping. In France, however, they say c'est la vie.
A pair of Goodyear (GT - Get Report) plant managers were taken captive by workers this week inside a factory in Amiens France that the company is trying to shut down. Members of the left wing CGT union seized production and human resources directors Michel Dheilly and Bernard Glesser Monday to demand higher severance pay for more than a thousand employees being let go.
The unions at Goodyear want severance packages ranging from $109,000 to $235,000 depending on seniority. Management's proposals have not been released."We're ready to go all the way," said CGT union delegate Franck Jurek. "It can last for a few more hours, it can last for a few days or a few weeks. As long as our demands are not met, these two people stay with us." All the way? Pas tout a fait, Franck. The two hostages were let go late Tuesday after spending a little more than 24 hours as hostages. Then again, did you really think these union workers would hold out for weeks or months? Seriously, it was that kind of indolence and insolence which caused Goodyear to shutter the uncompetitive plant in the first place! Not that they will be punished for the whole abduction charade. We guarantee that the police and French government will take a laissez-faire attitude to the perpetrators. Boss-napping may be viewed harshly in America, but in France it's less frowned upon. If this all sounds familiar -- you know, like a case of deja vu -- this is indeed the same troublesome tire plant that Titan International (TWI) CEO Maurice Taylor considered rescuing last year before backing out because he deemed France's unionized workers overpaid and underworked. Well, what say you now Maurice? Even though they couldn't "go all the way," you must admit these folks showed a lot of initiative. If they were totally shiftless they wouldn't have abducted anybody at all!