French Caterpillar workers take four managers hostage

French Caterpillar workers take four managers hostage Paris - Workers at a French factory of the US industrial equipment manufacturer Caterpillar have taken hostage four of its senior managers after the company announced that the site would be shut down, Europe 1 radio reported on Wednesday.

Among the four individuals being held by some 50 workers at the site in the city of Grenoble is the head of Caterpillar-France, Nicolas Polutnik. If the factory is shut, 773 employees will be made redundant.

In February, Caterpillar said it would cut some 24,000 jobs from its worldwide payroll of 113,000 workers because of a drop in orders of 55 per cent.

President Nicolas Sarkozy told Europe 1 radio on Wednesday that he would personally "save the site."

This is the fourth such incident in France this year. Last month, executives at Sony-France and a French factory belonging to the US diversified technology company 3M were held hostage after the announcement of site closures.

In addition, the head of the French luxury group PPR, Francois-Henri Pinault, was on Tuesday blocked in a taxi in Paris for more than one hour by angry workers at a PPR subsidiary because of announced job cuts. (dpa)