It was the final straw for a group of French factory workers – their legal bid to block the planned closure of their plant had failed. In an explosion of anger, local government offices in the northern town of Compiegne was ransacked.
A reception building at their nearby factory, run by German car parts maker Continental, was also trashed. A series of protests, culminating in the court challenge, had come to nothing. More than 1,000 people are set to lose their jobs. “If we have to fight, we are going to fight,” said one worker. “We have nothing to lose.” Direct worker action to resist mass layoffs has become increasingly radical in France. In some cases, company managers have been held overnight in their offices, a method dubbed “bossnapping.”