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French Workers Release Manager Held Hostage After Labor Dispute

Workers at a 3M factory in Pithiviers, France, have released a manager they were holding hostage to protest layoffs and deteriorating working conditions at the plant, which manufactures pharmaceutical products. The Associated Press (AP) reports that the workers locked the manager in an office on Tuesday to demand better severance packages for the 110 workers scheduled to be laid off and an improvement of working conditions for those who were keeping their jobs. After negotiations Wednesday that ran well into the night, the workers released the manager unharmed; negotiations between workers and management over details of the layoff plan were to continue today. AP says that anger in France over the state of the economy has led to kidnappings, marches, and strikes. reports that a boss at Sony France was recently held hostage overnight until he agreed to reopen talks on compensation for workers when the factory closed.

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