Tuesday, March 17, 2009

The Corporate Mutiny

I've read some interesting stories over the past few months, but this one really was unique. Employees of Sony in France decided to take the corporation into their own hands. They took the management prisoner! Yes.....only in France? We'll see. Note the words "angry", "unhappy", and "disgruntled" in the article.....all great adjectives for a declining mass social mood. The revolution appears to be alive and well.

From the BBC:
French Sony boss freed by staff
The head of Sony France and his human resources manager have been freed after being held captive overnight by staff angry at their severance package. Serge Foucher and Roland Bentz were released from the factory in south-west France after agreeing to restart talks on the terms of the redundancy. The plant at Pontonx-sur-l'Adour is due to shut on 17 April.

Representatives of the 311 workers said their action was the only way to make management listen to their concerns. Talks were said to be under way on Friday afternoon. "We hope that this time our voices will be heard," unionist Patrick Achaguer told Reuters news agency. Mr Foucher's visit to the plant on Thursday was to be his last before its closure, the AFP news agency reports.

Workers, unhappy that their pay-off is less generous than for staff at other closed French Sony plants, decided to strike and barricaded the site to stop the company executives from leaving. Police were outside the site but did not intervene. There have been several incidents in the past of disgruntled French workers holding their bosses hostage, the French news agency reports.

My family experienced some "social chaos" this week. I've stated several times that we all need to protect our family, but random chaos is a hard thing to predict. My wife, a corporate trainer, was at her client's office earlier this week delivering a training class. The corporate security walked in and announced that the building had to be evacuated immediately. An eighteen year female employee was terminated the week prior. It appears that the combination of a crumbling marriage and the job loss drove her to take her life over the weekend....despite having two children. The husband, also an employee of the company, called the company and stated that he was coming to the office to shoot the managers. Wow! Too close for our comfort. I once again state, where is the perspective on life?

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