France

Greeetings card workers kidnap bosses over layoff pay

Reuters/Jean-Paul Pelissier
2 min

Bossnapping is back in France. Sacked workers at a greetings card company refused to let two of their bosses out of the factory after being told they would receive no severance pay because “there is no money”.

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Company chiefs Paul Denis and Merthus Bezemer were being held in the company premises Friday after telling employees who were to be laid off that they would not receive redundancy pay that they are legally entitled to.

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The firm, Edit66, is based in the southern French town of Cabestany.

It was bought by Dutch company Mercurius in the early 1990s and once employed 60 workers, although that number has been reduced to 37 of whom 19 are to be laid off now.

The company said it would not pay compensation for the job losses because “there is no money”, leading to the bossnapping.

The town’s Socialist mayor Jean Vila supported the action.

“I find it [the failure to pay] immoral,” he said. “There laws in France and they have to be respected.”

There was a spate of bossnappings in France in 2009.

French unemployment currently stands at over three million.

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