French strikers hold 3M executive hostage
PITHIVIERS, France — (AP) - Striking French 3M workers were still holding their boss hostage Wednesday at a plant south of Paris and a regional labor official was to mediate talks between the two sides.
The workers want better severance packages for those being laid off and better conditions for those keeping their jobs.
About 20 workers took the director of 3M's French operations, Luc Rousselet, hostage Tuesday at the factory in Pithiviers. Company spokeswoman Catherine Hamon said Rousselet had not been threatened with violence.
In France, it is not unheard-of for striking workers to hold company executives as a way of winning concessions from management.
The hostages are almost never injured.
Talks among workers and management were suspended overnight, but were to resume later Wednesday.
The French division of 3M - a diversified U.S. manufacturer known for Post-It notes and Scotch tape - recently announced layoffs among its 2,700 workers at 13 French sites. Among those targeted are 110 of the Pithiviers factory's 235 workers.
The Maplewood, Minn.-based 3M is also planning job cuts at facilities in the United States and other developed nations.
"We will go to the end to get what we deserve," said Jean-FranEcois Caparros of the Force Ouvriere labor union.
The 3M workers have been on strike since Friday. Hamon said Rousselet was blocked from leaving the factory Tuesday after arriving from 3M France headquarters near Paris.
(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)