"Keep your so-called workers," U.S. boss tells France

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posted on Feb, 20 2013 @ 08:55 AM
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As economies and profits shink in several parts of the world, we might see more of the shakedowns upto certain extent. I do know for a fact that lifestyle in general is a bit laid back in EU however I also wonder how bad the unions in US really are in comparison to France ? I did like the comment by Maurice Taylor


PARIS (Reuters) - The CEO of a U.S. tire maker has delivered a crushing summary of how some outsiders view France's work ethic in a letter saying he would have to be stupid to take over a factory whose staff only put in three hours work a day.

Titan International's Maurice Taylor, nicknamed "The Grizz" for his negotiating style, told the left-wing French industry minister in a letter published by media on Wednesday that he had no interest in rescuing a plant set for closure.

"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," Taylor wrote on February 8 in the letter in English to the minister, Arnaud Montebourg.

"I told this to the French union workers to their faces. They told me that's the French way!" Taylor added in the letter, which was posted by business daily Les Echos on its website and which the ministry confirmed was genuine.

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posted on Feb, 20 2013 @ 09:27 AM
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I don’t live in France but I’ve been there a few times. Don’t plan on doing ANYTHING on a Sunday. Everything is shutdown. Dont plan on visiting places at there lunch break. An best of luck trying to find out when its break time because you wont get any help then either.

I remember going to a Museum, as we walked up, the lady was locking the door and said, “lunch time, come back un 2 hours”… Wait what????
edit on 20-2-2013 by camaro68ss because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 20 2013 @ 10:11 AM
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reply to post by hp1229
 

Our company once tried a french business contact (supplier) for a short time... once.
They delivered late, unashamed and incorrect.
They were rude and refused to communicate in German (understandably), English, or any language apart from French.
Non merci.



posted on Feb, 20 2013 @ 10:34 AM
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Originally posted by camaro68ss
I don’t live in France but I’ve been there a few times. Don’t plan on doing ANYTHING on a Sunday. Everything is shutdown. Dont plan on visiting places at there lunch break. An best of luck trying to find out when its break time because you wont get any help then either.

I remember going to a Museum, as we walked up, the lady was locking the door and said, “lunch time, come back un 2 hours”… Wait what????
edit on 20-2-2013 by camaro68ss because: (no reason given)
I remember the same when we were touring the countries in Europe including france. Given that the country has a history just like spain, italy and many others. Culturally they refuse to give up certain things and needless to say that Food is up there on their list



posted on Feb, 20 2013 @ 10:36 AM
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Originally posted by ColCurious
reply to post by hp1229
 
Our company once tried a french business contact (supplier) for a short time... once. They delivered late, unashamed and incorrect. They were rude and refused to communicate in German (understandably), English, or any language apart from French. Non merci.
Yep. I know many professionals who deal with them and they almost have almost same things to say about the french. However the work ethics is also intertwined to their laid back culture which is where they need to focus if their industrial sector wishes to remain competitive.



posted on Feb, 20 2013 @ 11:30 AM
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This type of behavior and attitude infuriates me,

"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," Taylor wrote on February 8 in the letter in English to the minister, Arnaud Montebourg.

"I told this to the French union workers to their faces. They told me that's the French way!" Taylor added in the letter, which was posted by business daily Les Echos on its website and which the ministry confirmed was genuine.

Well, I can tell you right now that the CEO of Titan was either blatantly lying out of his backside or trying an attempt at humor, which was not very diplomatic of him to do so!

The only reason he sent this letter was to cut short the discussions about him eventually purchasing the Goodyear tyre factory in Amiens.

His attitude has shocked many French people who have had enough of these stereotypical images that certain countries put upon them and also created quite a turmoil within the French Gvt, which won’t do much good for French/USA business relationships.

I am not French and have lived in France for nearly 30 years now and I can tell you right now that apart from the odd lazy can’t be bothered civil servant who is at the end of his career, the average French worker works over 40 hours a week and many work over 45 hours a week (the legal working week in France is 35 hours.)

And for extra info the average French wage is 1439€ for a single person, 2657€ for a couple without children and 3087€ for a couple with one child. After taking roughly 30% of this salary away it doesn’t leave them with much to live with at the end of the month.

Heres a link to show you (although it is in French it has pictograms so fairly easy to understand) :

www.salairemoyen.com...

Just because this idiot decided to take a literary sucker punch at the French people doesn’t give reason for people here on ATS to start French bashing (which i am sure will happen soon from certain members as usual!).)

And to add, just because one or two of you have had one bad experience with the French DOESN’T mean that ALL French are like this… (I could say the same things about certain other cultures represented here in ATS but I am not going to as I believe that we are not here at all to culture bash and get nasty and spiteful with each other.

Quite a few years ago the laid back attitude of the French practically dwindled away as they were forced to accept a 35 hour week when 45 hours of work had to be done with the Gvt saying that money saved by companies could be used to hire more workforces… BUT no, the majority of companies didn’t hire more workers and the workers had and still have to do 40 to 45 hours work in 35 hours when possible.

Come on ladies and Gentlemen what happened to CULTURAL TOLERANCE?

Apparently Maurice "Grizzly" Taylor has either never heard of Cultural tolerance or is just quite simply another despicable person that does not deserve the position he actually holds. I feel really sorry for his employees in the USA if he treats them as badly as he treats people outside of his country!

Kindest respects

Rodinus
edit on 20-2-2013 by Rodinus because: phrase removed and new one added



posted on Feb, 20 2013 @ 12:45 PM
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It was a similar attitude that served to destroy the Big 3 auto makers during their prime years of dominating the Markets while producing crap in the process. The union mentality during those peak years was laughable. I've heard some amusing stories over the years from a couple of my neighbors who are retired from Ford and GM. The most amusing was the sale of Ford crate engines right off the dock at my local engine plant. Everything was for sale for the right price back then. I doubt that it still happens there today. They now build the new Ecoboost engine...

Aside from that it was the work ethic, the right on time breaks, leisurely lunches while still on the clock, questionable overtime etc etc....

The French and some of their Euro counterparts have perfected L.A.Z.Y....



posted on Feb, 20 2013 @ 01:07 PM
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reply to post by jibeho
 


Lazy you say?

Ok i am going to slap something here that was written courtesy of the following link :

www.understandfrance.org...

A few stereotypes of how the French and Americans often see each other....

The Americans see the French as :

Lazy : people who do not work and demonstrate in the streets (when they are not on strike)

Cowards : they always surrender, unreliable allies

Rude, anti-American and ungrateful, people who don't speak English, distant and difficult to meet

Communists : people who live in a bureaucratic Socialist system and who are totally dependent on the State

Dirty : people who do not use soap

Arrogant and conceited people, always giving lessons to the others

Not democratic : people who do not respect religious freedom

The French see the Americans as :

Arrogant and sure they are always right and good,

Moralizing and overly religious

Insular : people who do not know other nations and whose press never addresses international issues
!
Domineering : people who do not take criticism

Naive : de grands enfants (ie, people who are naive and have no, or a too short, history)

Violent : people who have free access to guns and who use them to shoot each other when things go wrong

Materialistic : people who are arch-capitalists and only think about money

Well, those are just a few examples of how many people in these 2 particular countries seem to see each other

Of course, these are only stereotypes and sadly many people will not have the tolerance to look further into other peoples cultures... all you need to do is type out "Cultural differences" in your search engine and you learn so much!

So, before making statements like the French and other EURO countries are L.A.Z.Y. may i suggest that you do a little homework first before relying on just what one or two people might have said or reported.

Kindest respects

Rodinus


edit on 20-2-2013 by Rodinus because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 20 2013 @ 01:16 PM
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Here's the working week figures for Europe, France does well and is highly productive too, as are other countries. I don't know where this US guy is coming from, it all sounds a bit jingoistic to me.

www.guardian.co.uk...



posted on Feb, 20 2013 @ 01:28 PM
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reply to post by Rodinus
 


Goodyear was in negotiations with labor at this particular plant for 5 years... Unsuccessful for five years...


Closing the factory is the only option after five years of unsuccessful negotiations," said a French-language statement, which added that the plan had been presented to a works committee and would serve as the basis for further consultations with workers' representatives.

Henry Dumortier, chairman of Goodyear's French unit, said: "We are fully aware of the impact of the announcement we are making today and the plan's heavy consequences for staff, their families and local communities."

He added: "We are deeply disappointed that five years of negotiations were not enough to reach a compromise with representatives of workers at Amiens Nord. Today's announcement was the only option left to us."

www.france24.com...

Remember a nationwide strike in France back in 2010? What were they protesting? The raise in the retirement age from 60 to 62 which was still lower than many of their neighboring countries and certainly lower than the US. People are working into their 70's in some cases here.


French unions staged nationwide strikes on Thursday and hundreds of thousands of workers took to the streets to protest against plans to raise the retirement age to 62, throwing down the gauntlet to President Nicolas Sarkozy.

Bernard Thibault, the head of France's largest CGT union, estimated that at least two million protestors had joined some 200 rallies across the country and said this would pile pressure on the government to revise its contested pension reform.

"This draft bill will not get passed in its current form. The workers have decided to take to the streets in large numbers to prevent the text from getting passed," he said as he headed the main, sun-soaked rally through eastern Paris.


All over State funded pensions...

Sarkozy's government has vowed not to back down on the centrepiece of its reform -- lifting the age of retirement to 62 from 60 by 2018 -- saying the move was needed to prevent the pension system from going bust and sinking state finances.

But unions have succeeded in torpedoing previous attempts to overhaul state pensions and have pinned their hopes on massive support of their day of action to force a government retreat.

Thousands of transport workers walked off the job, hitting train, plane, metro and bus services, while civil servants, teachers and some private sector staff also went on strike.

"We are all in the same boat," said Jean-Luc Mariano, a docker who joined a march in the port city of Marseille.


I love this line

"It is already hard enough working at the age of 56 in the docks. To add yet more years to that means we will never get to enjoy our retirement," he added.

Poor guy won't get to enjoy his state supported retirement until 62. Poor planning and total reliance on one's govt. will do that to you.

Give people an inch and they take a mile. Compliments of a Socialist Regime in 1983. Fact not a stereotype


The government unveiled its planned overhaul of the pay-as-you-go pensions regime last week, saying that without major changes the system would run up annual deficits of 100 billion euros ($134.2 billion) by 2050.

Although a retirement age of 62 is still lower than in many of France's neighbours, it breaks a significant taboo in a country where many see retirement at 60 -- introduced by a Socialist government in 1983 -- as their right.

The SNCF national rail service said nearly 40 percent of its employees had gone on strike, while the education ministry said 20 percent of teachers took part and state energy company EDF reported that 16 percent of its workers had joined the dispute.


www.france24.com...

I'd tell them to keep their "so called workers" too!!



posted on Feb, 20 2013 @ 02:29 PM
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reply to post by hp1229
 


Same thing happened to a Mitsubishi factory around where I am living in Spain. They needed to put up signs for the allotted time that was acceptable for activities like getting a hammer or walking in between stations, ect.....

They closed because they got tired of low production and high operating costs.

The unions also tried to blackmail and threaten them all the time.

edit on 20-2-2013 by zedVSzardoz because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 20 2013 @ 03:41 PM
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reply to post by Rodinus
 


35-45 hours of work? You mean the average American work week? French work forces dwindled when they had to attempt this? LOL



posted on Feb, 20 2013 @ 04:12 PM
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reply to post by NoJoker13
 


My wife works an average of 12 hours a day. Management, Salary, no overtime. I avg. about 10 a day. Its just the way it is here in the good old US. And those who work multiple jobs to keep food on the table and to cover monthly expenses work well beyond that.

Yes, the French in general are a Lazy lot when compared to most US workers... 2 totally different work ethics. The modern French work ethic was ushered in back in 1983.



posted on Feb, 20 2013 @ 06:06 PM
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reply to post by jibeho
 




The rights that you openly scoff at were fought for by the french workers, and they were paid for in blood.

You seem proud that your wife works 12 hours a day. Do you understand how pathetic that sounds ? In a few decades you'll be dead, and you will have achieved what ? Money ? That's paper. Social status ? Can't take that with you either. I fail to see what work ethic-related satisfaction could possibly make up for the extra hours that I spend with my loved ones, as opposed to mindlessly grinding away like a good little economic cog.

Being called "lazy" by brainwashed worker-ants like yourself is akin to a compliment.



posted on Feb, 20 2013 @ 07:27 PM
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If that old moron would have had a look at statistical data (there are several sources- OECD for instance), he would have noticed that france isn't bad if it comes to productivity of labor and hours worked per person. If I remember correctly the UK is one of the worse countries in the EU and Greece is leading. Internationally, I think Mexican workers, worked most hours - I know, I know, this is a lot to choke on. I could hardly believe it myself. And to be honest, I cannot imagine how these statistics can be true - but there they are (google yourself).



posted on Feb, 20 2013 @ 10:19 PM
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reply to post by hp1229
 


Oh,good grief, who cares what an American thinks about France or any other country for that matter. There goes that 'American exceptionalism' at work again.



posted on Feb, 21 2013 @ 12:21 AM
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I lived in France a couple months about 10 years ago. I had to promise not to get a job in France. Apparently they were concerned about their own people.

They are way ahead of us, the US, in many ways. No plastic bags, you have to have your own bag for groceries. Want to leave your grocery cart in the parking lot, it will cost you 1 euro, or over 1 US dollar. Their grocery checkers have a chair to sit in. Washing machines recycle the water, why don't we have that here?

And least anyone forgets, the French helped with finances and troops in the Revolutionary war, not to mention the Statue of Liberty given to us by them.

We find it so easy to be critical of other countries. I recall the silly outrage about France not joining us in the Iraq war. Refusing to eat french fries and calling them cowards. They have suffered for centuries at the hand of war while we have had minimal attacks in the US.

How short sighted and narrow minded we can be.

Okay pour it on. I likely will not respond.



posted on Feb, 21 2013 @ 02:02 AM
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Originally posted by jibeho
reply to post by NoJoker13
 


My wife works an average of 12 hours a day. Management, Salary, no overtime. I avg. about 10 a day. Its just the way it is here in the good old US. And those who work multiple jobs to keep food on the table and to cover monthly expenses work well beyond that.

Yes, the French in general are a Lazy lot when compared to most US workers... 2 totally different work ethics. The modern French work ethic was ushered in back in 1983.


Jib,

Although i understand and respect your point of view and also appreciate your no doubt well thought out posts, i have this to ask you :

Have you ever lived in Europe over a long period of time, have you ever asked the average REAL European what it is like to work over here? No, i don't think you have, so what gives you the right to Judge French or Europeans as Lazy because of a couple of websites that you quickly looked up?

So your wife works hard (i take my hat off to her)... my wife, who is French by the way also works hard... gets up at 05:00 every morning to drive 1 and a half hours to work, slogs her guts out for over 12 hours per day (10 hours is the legal minimum daily work day (NORMALLY!)) then drives back for 1 and a half hours before eating her evening meal, spending some time with the kids and myself and then crashing into bed)

Just added this in edit : I forgot to mention, and all of this for 1300€ per month (so take away the 30% taxes, petrol (which does not have the same price as in the USA here... that doesn't leave her with a lot at the end of the month)... I never hear her complaing... as i equally don't hear most of the private sector workers complaining either.

Yes, Unions have force and solidarity over here and gob off quite a lot, but in a way i can't blame them when their jobs are at risk, at least they are standing up for themselves and not just taking the brunt of what the big boss says and acting like Sheeple!

I myself am fairly lucky as i work from home (but still put in nearly 14 hours per day into my job)

Sorry but you have got things completely wrong, (may i suggest that you take of your blinkers (ever seen a Shire horse running blindly with blinkers?... Do you know what a Shire horse is?) and take a real look around the world instead of sitting in your comfy arm chair typing away in the good old US of A in order to get yourself an intellectual erection?) Oops i am being intolerant to cultural differences... sincerest apologies.

May i also suggest that you take with a pinch of salt the information that you have researched so far on the MSM on internet?

Kindest respects

Rodinus
edit on 21-2-2013 by Rodinus because: (no reason given)
edit on 21-2-2013 by Rodinus because: (no reason given)
edit on 21-2-2013 by Rodinus because: (no reason given)
edit on 21-2-2013 by Rodinus because: Added phrase (many apologies for editing)



posted on Feb, 21 2013 @ 02:53 AM
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I've worked long hours in the past and made some great money doing it. But here lately i have a job that isnt as high paying as some i've had in the past and ive got to say i am enjoying NOT working if i dont have too. Remember when i was a child and just daydreamed/thought of whatever in the hell i wanted to for days. Money does not equal happiness. I'm not lazy i prefer to call it extreme paitence.



posted on Feb, 21 2013 @ 03:00 AM
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Sorry just read my post realized i left out the fact that i can pretty much write my own schedule at new job depending on due date of parts. Not braggin just really enjoying at least that aspect of the job. Trust me the rest of it sucks most of the time. I need to start buying lottery tickets




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