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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.
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
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)
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.
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.
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."
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.
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.
"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.
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.
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.