French workers jailed for detaining bosses at Goodyear factory

Eight former workers from a Goodyear tyre factory in Northern France have received 24 month jail sentences for holding two bosses captive as part of a 2014 industrial dispute.

AFP reports that, as 15 months of the prison terms were suspended by the court in Amiens, the former employees will spend nine months behind bars.

According to the Financial Times, the “bossnappings” occurred as the workers were demanding higher redundancy payouts for more than a thousand planned lay-offs. They held the factory’s head of human resources and the production manager captive for 30 hours before they were eventually freed by police.

The sentences were harsher than expected and one of the defendants, Reynald Jurek, told journalists the decision was “politically motivated”.

Such kidnappings are not unknown in France, a nation known for its robust industrial relations.

For example, in 2009 managers at Caterpillar and Sony were held captive by protesting workers. And in 2010 bosses were detained by workers at La Poste.

Image: The Financial Times