US Businessman to French Socialists: Government Backed Union Labor is Lazy

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Maurice Taylor, CEO of Titan International, is ruffling French feathers with his letter declining interest in saving a Goodyear plant in France. “I have visited that factory a couple of times. The French workforce gets paid high wages but work only three hours. They get one hour for breaks and lunch, talk for three and work for three. I told the French union workers to their faces. They told me that’s the French way!” Apparently none of the union workers stepped forward to deny it at the time, and having worked with the highly unionized French phone company Orange this depiction is entirely consistent. The article also notes that the same French union lambasting Taylor for not investing blocked a buyout offer less than a year ago, and is the primary culprit behind the failure of Goodyear to turn a profit. This one article is a such a great lesson in economics, supply and demand for labor, and the destructiveness of state-backed labor unions in an age of global labor competition. The French should break out their German dictionary and look-up schadenfreude.

8:28 am on February 21, 2013