Back when I was a young man I once made the mistake of going to Europe during the month of August. Ready for two weeks of drinking, partying, and hot sex with (female) Euro-models, all my hopes were dashed when I arrived in Madrid on the first day and it turned out to be a ghost town.
In effect the whole city had gone on vacation, as is the custom in European countries during the summer.
Six to eight weeks of vacation, 35-hour work weeks, and retirement at fifty-five is how they roll in most of the Euro zone, and most notably in France. Sure, this may seem like a nirvana to the working class, but in practice it lends itself to making a country less competitive, though that is not the politically correct thing to say.
Well one CEO isn’t mincing words as to why he is keeping his company out of France. Titan International Chairman Maurice Taylor recently declined to reconsider buying a former Goodyear tire plant in that country and elucidated his reasons in a letter to French Interior Minister Arnaud Montebourg;
“I have visited the factory several times,” Taylor wrote. “The French workforce gets paid high wages but works only three hours. They get one hour for breaks and lunch, talk for three and work for three. I told the French union workers this to their faces. They told me that’s the French way!”
Keying in on the French Unions he continued;
“Goodyear tried for over four years to save part of the Amiens jobs that are some of the highest paid but the French unions and the French government did nothing but talk.”
“Sir, your letter says you want Titan to start a discussion,” he wrote. “How stupid do you think we are? Titan is the one with the money and the talent to produce tires. What does the crazy union have? It has the French government. The French farmer wants cheap tires. He does not care if the tires come from India or China and these governments are subsidizing them. Your government doesn’t care either. ‘We’re French!”’
No word yet as to if Jerry Lewis will be sent over to mediate this conflict.
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