More people angry over the death of VHS

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Angry workers hold French Sony boss hostage
13 Mar 2009

MONT-DE-MARSAN: Angry workers held the boss of Sony France hostage Friday to try to make the Japanese electronics giant give them a bigger pay-off when it shuts their factory, unions said.

Serge Foucher had gone to the Pontonx-sur-l’Adour plant in southwest France on Thursday to meet its 311 workers one last time before the closure of the factory on April 17.

But the workers, who say their pay-off is less generous than that offered at other French Sony plants that have closed, decided to launch a strike, then barricaded the entry to the site with tree trunks and stopped him leaving.

He was held overnight in a meeting room, CGT union official Patrick Hachaguer said.

“We were asked to let Mr. Foucher out of the factory this morning to meet the prefect (regional state representative) and the workers. But the workers, who want the prefect to come here, refused,” he said.

Hachaguer said the deputy prefect would come to the plant, but official sources said that he would not do so until he was given guarantees that Foucher would be released.

Sony France announced in December the closure of the Pontonx-sur-l’Adour site, which has since 1984 specialised in manufacturing video tapes.

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