French workers have released a manager of U.S. manufacturer 3M held for two days in a labor dispute over layoffs at a factory south of Paris.

A company spokeswoman says Luc Rousselet was freed overnight and left the factory at Pithiviers.

Spokeswoman Catherine Hamon says negotiations between workers and management are to resume Thursday.

The workers locked Rousselet in an office Tuesday, demanding better severance packages for those laid off and better conditions for those who keep their jobs.

The company has announced layoffs worldwide amid the economic downturn, including 110 of the 235 jobs at the Pithiviers factory.

The hostage-taking was one of many incidents of labor unrest in France recently prompted by the economic crisis.