What have you always wondered about the economy? Tell us

French workers’ threats not unusual

Stephen Beard Jul 15, 2009
HTML EMBED:
COPY

French workers’ threats not unusual

Stephen Beard Jul 15, 2009
HTML EMBED:
COPY

TEXT OF STORY

Bill Radke: There’s a dramatic protest going on at a factory in France, where orkers facing possible layoffs are threatening to blow up the plant unless they get better severance packages. From our European Desk, Stephen Beard reports.


Stephen Beard: The workers at a Nortel telecom equipment factory near Paris have placed cylinders of gas around the plant. They say they will blow it up as early as today if their demands are not met — 480 of their jobs are to go, and they want a payoff worth around $130,000 each.

French press reports claim the cylinders are empty. But the Nortel workers are clearly in an angry mood. They’re also threatening to close the nearby highway with a bonfire of burning tires.

Jacques Myard is a conservative member of the National Assembly:

Jacques Myard: Of course, I hope they will not put their threat into action. But it shows that in France, we still have, let’s say, a kind of revolutionary spirit still acting among this nation.

This is the second threat to blow up a factory in France in less than week. Across the country in recent months, there been a spate of so-called boss-napping incidents carried out by laid-off workers.

In London, this is Stephen Beard for Marketplace.

As a nonprofit news organization, our future depends on listeners like you who believe in the power of public service journalism.

Your investment in Marketplace helps us remain paywall-free and ensures everyone has access to trustworthy, unbiased news and information, regardless of their ability to pay.

Donate today — in any amount — to become a Marketplace Investor. Now more than ever, your commitment makes a difference.