Caterpillar managers ‘boss-napped'

By Chris Sleight01 April 2009

Four managers at Caterpillar's factory in Grenoble, France were detained by workers yesterday in protest at job cuts. Workers at the plant are reported to have been on strike since Monday as part of the dispute.

Reports say the company plans to cut 733 of the plant's 2500 staff. The workers' demands included a reduction in the number of job cuts, more generous severance packages and the option of taking early retirement.

Commenting on the situation, Chris Schena, Caterpillar vice president with responsibility for manufacturing operations in Europe, Africa and the Middle East said, "Caterpillar is hoping this matter can be resolved quickly. We understand Caterpillar managers in Grenoble are communicating with members of the Works Council today. Our utmost priority is to find a solution that guarantees the sustainability of our presence in Grenoble. The actions that are taking place today, led by a small minority of individuals, are not helping as we work for a positive resolution of this situation,"

According to Caterpillar, managers have been in talks with the Grenoble Works Council for several weeks. "The best way to resolve this matter is to continue the negotiations through the Works Council to find a solution that's fair to our employees and allows Caterpillar to remain a leader in a rapidly changing global marketplace," said Mr Schena.

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