Mar 26 2009 by Brian Amble Print This Article

If you're facing redundancy, you may or may not want to take a leaf out of the French handbook of labour relations and try bossnapping - holding your manager hostage as a protest.

Staff at a 3M factory in Pithiviers, near Orleans, south of Paris, were demanding more money for departing staff and guarantees for those remaining Ė and they held the industrial director of the group, Luc Rousselet, for more than 24 hours until a deal was reached.

It was a similar story earlier this month when employees at a Sony factory in southwest France held both the CEO and HR director of Sony France until they agreed better terms for workers facing dismissal.

In France, where protest has been elevated into an art form, police rarely if ever intervene in disputes like these.

"It's true that this might seem surprising abroad, but it's less surprising in France, where we're more used to this kind of situation," said a very phlegmatic French Sony spokeswoman.

Try the same thing in the USA, mind you, and the outcome could be ugly. No sense of humour, les Anglo-Saxons...