Worker Uprising In France: "Hostage Lite"

An employee of Caterpillar uses his mobile phone as he waits in the entrance hall of the Caterpillar plant of Grenoble, French Alps, Tuesday March 31, 2009. AP PHOTO

It happened again today in France. Workers for Caterpillar took four of the managers hostage.

Maybe hostage is too strong a word. The workers hold the executives in their offices, provide them food and bathroom visits, there's no real threat of physical violence.

It's a sort of hostage lite. The workers say it's a way to communicate their concerns about jobs cuts. Last week the same thing happened to 3M in France.

I have to say, I really do get this. Who of us doesn't feel like we've been taken hostage by this economic crisis? We get mad but, its awfully hard to get even.

Some of the CEOs of the badly behaving companies have been skewered in the press, but they still get paid.

Some even get bonuses.

The French workers it seems are trying to make their bosses feel what they feel. Trapped.

Everyone is looking for ways to deal with this crisis. President Obama used a very French punishment on GM CEO Rick Wagoner over the weekend - the guillotine.
By Harry Smith
  • Harry Smith

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