Almost half of the French public support workers have been locking up their bosses after being made redundant, an opinion poll has claimed.

Staff at Sony, 3M and Caterpillar plants have recently made headlines after keeping their managers prisoner overnight in an attempt to secure better layoff terms.

A survey carried out for Le Parisien newspaper has now found that 45% of French people approve of the method, dubbed 'bossnapping' in the media.

In a statement, the newspaper explained: "They are not in the majority - but 45% is an enormous percentage and it demonstrates the extent of exasperation among the public at this time of economic crisis."

Responding to the news, French politician Xavier Bertrand warned: "These hostage takings, we know how it starts but no one knows how far it can go. Our country must avoid entering a spiral of violence."