HP Hit by Bossnapping Craze

Five managers at Hewlett-Packard subsidiary being held hostage by workers facing layoffs

By Jackson West
|  Thursday, Apr 16, 2009  |  Updated 1:00 PM PDT
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HP Hit by Bossnapping Craze

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HP CEO Mark Hurd probably has more to fear from investors than employees.

In the town of Woippy, France, five managers are being held hostage by workers facing layoffs at Hewlett-Packard subsidiary FM Logistic.

125 workers decided to take matters into their own hands as part of a dispute with the company over a plan to cut 489 jobs in order to move operations to Malaysia.

The protest is the latest in a series of similar incidents that have swept across France.

The bosses are treated well, and are allowed food and restroom breaks. So far, similar cases have resulted in the managers being released unharmed.

Public opinion polls show widespread support among the French for the tactic as the economic crisis forces companies to lay off workers and move jobs out of the country.

The workers are demanding better better benefit packages for those affected by the cuts, according to union officials.

HP has no need to worry about similar cases breaking out in Silicon Valley, where technology companies have managed to keep their employees from organizing a union, much less a bossnapping caper.

Jackson West loves to see a new labor protest tactic, especially when it proves effective.

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