A worker at the Goodyear tire factory guards the human resources chief, Bernard Glesser, left, and the firm's production manager Michel Dheilly, right, who have been blocked from leaving the plant in Amiens, northern France, Monday, Jan. 6, 2014. The two Goodyear managers were trapped in the conference room with angry workers demanding more money in exchange for the inevitable loss of their jobs. Goodyear's hopes to close the plant have been hindered by violent protests that included bonfires of tires, government concerns and France's prolonged layoff procedures. (AP Photo/Michel Euler) (The Associated Press)
Workers of the Goodyear tire factory gather at the plant in Amiens, northern France, Monday, Jan. 6, 2014. Two Goodyear managers, production manager Michel Dheilly and Human Resources director Bernard Glesser, were blocked from leaving the plant on Monday, with angry workers demanding more money in exchange for the inevitable loss of their jobs. (AP Photo/Michel Euler) (The Associated Press)
PARIS – Two Goodyear bosses held captive by workers spent the night inside a factory in northern France that the company wants to close.
The plant, which Goodyear has tried to sell or shutter for five years, has become an emblem of France's labor issues, and the seizure of the two managers — the plant's director and human resources chief — resurrected the once-common practice of boss-napping.
Sylvain Niel, a labor lawyer who has worked on similar issues, said the tactic fell away because any agreements under pressure were later voided in courts. He described it as an act of despair by workers "without room to maneuver."
But the Amiens plant has an especially contentious past, with sometimes violent protests against the closure.