updated 03:35 pm EDT, Fri March 13, 2009
Sony workers hold boss
Workers at a Sony manufacturing plant in France, which is due to close on April 17th, held Sony France president Serge Foucher overnight on Thursday against his will because they were not happy with their severance packages. Foucher was released on Friday morning, but escorted him straight to the negotiating table with trade union officials. The Pontonx-sur-l'Adour plant closure in southwest France, which has been making videotapes since 1984, is affected by Sony's December announcement that it would cut 16,000 jobs worldwide.
Foucher met on Thursday with 311 striking workers at the plant who went on strike on Thursday and barricaded the plant's entrance with tree trunks. "He won't listen to us, we didn't find any other solution," the left wing CGT union's spokesman Patrick Hachaguer said. On Friday morning in France, union members escorted Foucher and the director of human resources in a mini-bus to hold negotiations in the presence of local police staff.
"I'm happy to be free and to see the light of day again," Foucher said before being escorted to the talks.
The sacked workers are claiming they are getting smaller payoffs than other laid-off French Sony workers. [via Guardian]