Sony France workers free boss from overnight captivity

Workers in the Pontonx-sur-l'Adour Sony factory in France held plant manager Serge Foucher hostage overnight in the factory. They were trying to convince him to increase their redundancy packages.They released him in the morning.


AFP - Workers freed the boss of Sony France on Friday after holding him hostage overnight to try to make the Japanese electronics giant give them a bigger redundancy package.

"I am happy to be free and to see the light of day again," said Serge Foucher as he emerged from the Sony plant at Pontonx-sur-l'Adour in southwest France and climbed into a mini-bus along with union officials.

Foucher was heading for a meeting with the regional state representative, or prefect, and union leaders in the nearby town of Dax, officials said.

He had gone to the factory on Thursday to meet its 311 workers one last time before its closure on April 17.

But the workers, who say their pay-off is less generous than that offered at other French Sony plants that have closed, decided to launch a strike, then barricaded the entry to the site with tree trunks and stopped him leaving.

He was held overnight in a meeting room, a union official told AFP.

Sony France announced in December the closure of the Pontonx-sur-l'Adour site, which has specialised in manufacturing video tapes since 1984.

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