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Goodyear Bosses Free from 30-Hour Detention by Angry Staff

Police in France ended a rare case of "boss-napping" on Tuesday after a siege in which two managers of the U.S. tire giant Goodyear were held captive at their factory for 30 hours.

The practice of "boss-napping" -- holding your boss hostage as a negotiation tactic -- became a popular form of union action in France during the economic crisis in 2009.

The ploy has since fallen out of use -- until on Monday when about 100 workers at the Goodyear plant in Amiens, northern France, barricaded site director Michel Dheilly and human resources manager Bernard Glesser inside a meeting room.

Backed by their union, General Confederation of Labour (GCT) in a dispute over lay-off pay, they used large farm tires to block the door.

The bosses were resuced by police just before 4 p.m. local time (10 a.m. ET). Workers did not resist the officers.

Minutes after a car ferried Dheilly and Glesser through a large crowd gathered outside the factory, workers set fire to 100,000-euro of high-end tires which were being stored at the plant. A column of thick black smoke hung over the building for over an hour after the bosses left the site.

The detainees were given food and water during their time imprisoned in the factory. But a Goodyear representative speaking to NBC News on condition of anonymity said the ordeal was far from pleasant for the men.

"The situation is quite agitated," the representative said. "They have been held overnight. They have food and water but things are not easy for them."

Goodyear has been trying to close or restructure the plant for several years, a stance which has soured its relationship with the site's 1,250 employees.

Resigned to the factory's closure after a year of legal battles and angry protests, the worker's union GCT are battling for lay-off pay to be increased from 20,000 euro to 80,000 euro (from $27,000 to $108,000).

The plant hit the headlines last year when Maurice Taylor, the CEO of Illinois-based firm Titan tires which had considered taking over Goodyear, wrote an explosive email to a French government official.

The French workforce gets paid high wages but works only three hours," he wrote, according to the AP. "They get one hour for breaks and lunch, talk for three and work for three," he said.