French Union Activists Rip Shirts Off Backs of Executives and Force Them to Escape Over Fence

(p. B3) PARIS — Angry workers stormed Air France headquarters on Monday [October 5, 2016] as top managers were meeting to discuss plans to shed more than 2,900 jobs, forcing two executives to flee over a fence and in the process ripping the shirts from their backs.
The violence at the Air France offices near Charles de Gaulle Airport broke out shortly after 9:30 a.m. Officials, including the chief executive officer, Frédéric Gagey, had informed the company’s workers council that 900 flight attendants, 1,700 ground crew members and 300 pilots could be laid off as the airline strives to return to profitability.
The talks at the company, which is facing headwinds from an economic downturn and competition from low-cost carriers, had been tense for more than a year. While violence had not marred previous negotiations, the protests Monday were the latest in a series of incidents in France in which workers have held company bosses hostage or damaged property to make their point.
As the Air France executives detailed the latest restructuring plan, union activists swarmed into the room, waving flags and chanting protests, prompting Mr. Gagey to make a hasty exit.

For the full story, see:
LIZ ALDERMAN. “Workers Storm Air France Offices as Job Cuts Are Discussed.” The New York Times (Tues., OCT. 6, 2015): B3.
(Note: bracketed date added.)
(Note: the online version of the story has the date OCT. 5, 2015, and has the title “Angry Workers Storm Air France Meeting on Job Cuts.”)

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