Let’s hope American labor leaders don’t read international news reports.

Turns out that a new habit is taking hold in France in labor relations. To wit: When employees hear bad news, they hold their manager hostage until s/he changes the bad news. Police refuse to intervene for fear of violence.

A manager of a French sbusidiary of 3M is, as I write, being held hostage after he announced a layoff of 110 workers. Employees say they won’t let him out until he makes amends. Just what amends aren’t clear–whether they want no or fewer layoffs, better severance packages or what–but Luc Rousselet is barricaded in his office until he pulls out his magic wand and makes things right.

Rousselet told reporters (presumably by phone, but that’s not clear in the story either) that he “knew there was this risk when I came here.”

There’s some recent precedent for the union and workers at the 3M factory in Pithiviers, near Orleans in the South of France. Earlier this month, employees at Sony, also in the south of France, held both the chief executive and human resources director overnight until they agreed to better pay packages for workers being let go.

Who needs the Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA) when a good ol’ lynch mob will do?