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US CEO Says French Workers Have Three-Hour Work Day 1313

First time accepted submitter M3.14 writes "In a letter addressed to French Industrial Renewal Minister, Maurice Taylor, chief executive of Titan, writes (French article with English letter) that it would be stupid to buy any factory in France since workers don't really work full time. He'd rather buy cheap factories in India and China instead and import tires back to France. He writes, 'They get one hour for breaks and lunch, talk for three and work for three. I told this to the French union workers to their faces. They told me that's the French way!'"
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US CEO Says French Workers Have Three-Hour Work Day

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  • by bit trollent ( 824666 ) on Thursday February 21, 2013 @01:32AM (#42963159) Homepage

    Thanks to the erosion of unions, as well as a proliferation of anti-worker laws Americans don't have to worry about personal time or their health. In fact, we can't really worry about either.

    It's pathetically easy to get American's to forsake their vacations, their personal time, their families in order to pad a sleazy company's bottom line.

    Well... they can get another job you say... Well the union busting plantation owners made sure that the vast majority of America's jobs abuse their employees, so you can only choose among bad options.

    There are exceptions to every rule, but Americans have been voting against our own interest for at least the last 30.

    Don't pat yourself on the back for opening your country up to near slave labor practices.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 21, 2013 @01:41AM (#42963211)

      No kidding. Don't take your vacation days, otherwise you can say goodbye to any chance of a promotion and hello to the front of the line for a layoff.

      • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 21, 2013 @02:23AM (#42963501)

        Hell, I never took vacation... maybe 3 or 4 days in the last year. I got laid off anyway, never mind a promotion. I got no severance pay, but they gave me 70% of my remaining vacation time in cash.

        The lesson is: use your vacation. You may not get a chance later.

        • by sckeener ( 137243 ) on Thursday February 21, 2013 @12:56PM (#42968637)

          Hell, I never took vacation... maybe 3 or 4 days in the last year. I got laid off anyway, never mind a promotion. I got no severance pay, but they gave me 70% of my remaining vacation time in cash.

          The lesson is: use your vacation. You may not get a chance later.

          I can easy one up that and drive the point home. My ex-father in law never called in sick or took vacation. He died at 48. The paycheck he got for the unused vacation time had no taxes taken out. His wife who died two years later had to pay a ton in taxes because of that. On his death bed, I showed him pictures of a recent vacation I had and he wished he had done more of that than work. Who wouldn't? And since you never know when your last day is take the time now if you can.

      • No kidding. Don't take your vacation days, otherwise you can say goodbye to any chance of a promotion and hello to the front of the line for a layoff.

        Here in Germany, whenever I DON'T take all of my annual leave owing, I get emails from our HR begging me to take it as soon as possible. Annual leave owing to employees is written up as a debt owing (from the company to the employee) here, so looks bad in the books.

        Same thing with overtime - if I accrue too much, I pretty much get forced to take time off to knock it down a bit.

        • by daem0n1x ( 748565 ) on Thursday February 21, 2013 @07:25AM (#42965103)

          Oh, fuck! I live in Portugal, which has more or less the same labour laws as Germany. But here, companies take it for granted that we work extra time without being paid for it (which is illegal). I used to work extra time a lot in my current company. I worked many, many weekends, I postponed vacations to deliver projects, in the end, I got a pat in the back and they told me "good boy". So I stopped. Now I work a regular work week. With an occasional crunch now and then, because I decide to do so in any particular conditions. Sorry guys, I have a family. I have a life.

          Here, many people are bullied into working extra for free. I know lots of people in the services sector that live only for working. In industry it's not so easy to pull this one off because unions still carry some weight in those areas. Banks force people to work 12 hours a day. Bank employees are trained to evade Labour Authority inspections. Several times, banks are caught, they pay the fines, and keep on doing the same thing. In their calculations, it's cheaper.

          The law here requires people to take 22 paid vacation days every year. Vacation days can not be traded by money. I have always seen people that don't take their full vacation time, year after year. And I've seen people being bullied not to take vacations.

          In a company I have worked for years ago, I was bullied to postpone vacations when I already had my reservations made and plain tickets bought. They used to try that on everybody because people would postpone again and again, and end up not taking the vacation days. I said NO and fell out of favour with the bosses, that started picking on me constantly after that. I got another job and said goodbye. But I'm a computer engineer. Most people can't find jobs easily, the pay is usually very low and the ubiquity of illegal "temporary" contracts makes everybody submissive, as they can lose their job at a moment's notice.

          They think they're so smart doing all this shit. What do they get? Portuguese productivity is among the lowest ones in the developed world. All they get is a bunch of unhappy and anxious employees that can't focus and work efficiently. People throw their health and their family well-being in the toilet for a company that will, in its turn, throw them in the toilet when they see fit. Managers don't have any incentive to do a good job of managing and organising because they can always squeeze some more work from their employees. Hence, management positions are not regarded as places of responsibility, but privilege. As a society, we're sick.

          People that emigrate to other countries in Europe (I'm talking about a lot of people in the latest years) tell me that they make a lot more money than in Portugal, work less hours, have a much better work-life balance and get more respect by their company, specially if they are qualified workers. After a while, they don't consider coming back any more. Of course, if they're not hired by a Portuguese company to go abroad. In that case, the shit is the same as here, with the disadvantage of being away from their family and friends.

          Sometimes I hear ignorant people saying: "Portuguese are lazy! If we did like the Germans and work 14 hours a day, we wouldn't have gotten in this situation!". When I tell them that in almost every country in Europe people work less hours a day and less days a year, and yet they're a lot richer than us, these fucks almost choke on their own stupidity.

          We have to think, what kind of society do we want to live in? Do you want to have the life of a Portuguese worker? It doesn't work, see? Productivity is shit, industry and agriculture have gone away just the same, little added-value, little innovation, no future.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 21, 2013 @01:44AM (#42963235)

      Everyone votes as if they are the fabulously wealthy fat cat, that they dream about being. The reality is that they are a slave, and by accepting the "winner takes all" mindset, they are merely further enriching the tiny population of existing winners. Much better to accept that the typical American is a wage slave, and that the country should be run for the benefit of the wave slave majority (gasp, socialism!)

      • by MrEricSir ( 398214 ) on Thursday February 21, 2013 @01:58AM (#42963327) Homepage

        Everyone votes as if they are the fabulously wealthy fat cat, that they dream about being.

        You'd think Americans would start to notice a pattern when -- at every election cycle -- the winner-take-all types have to come up with the next flavor of the week economic hypothesis to "prove" that everyone wins when we fire another round of teachers and police so that rich people can buy another mansion or two.

        But this shouldn't be a surprise, Americans have serious trouble with long-term thinking these days.

      • by barc0001 ( 173002 ) on Thursday February 21, 2013 @03:08AM (#42963827)

        A quote by John Steinbeck sums this problem up perfectly:

        “Socialism never took root in America because the poor see themselves not as an exploited proletariat but as temporarily embarrassed millionaires.”

        And that's really the issue. You'll have Americans who are poor as dirt voting repeatedly against their own self interest because they have been conditioned to think if they work hard enough their ship will come in one day, and when that ship comes in they don't want parts of it chopped off to help OTHER people out, Never mind the staggering odds against that ship ever arriving.

        • by servognome ( 738846 ) on Thursday February 21, 2013 @03:44AM (#42964021)

          “Socialism never took root in America because the poor see themselves not as an exploited proletariat but as temporarily embarrassed millionaires.”

          Compared to most of the world they are.
          The US participated in social reforms for the worker, but the strong individualist culture prevented it from full socialism. Adopting a mixed economy at the beginning of the 20th century is one of the reasons it became so successful.

      • by GodfatherofSoul ( 174979 ) on Thursday February 21, 2013 @03:55AM (#42964075)

        A classic example of this was Joe the Plumber in the 2008 campaign. Here was a guy making $40K a year and when he got the ONCE IN A LIFETIME opportunity to ask a potential President a question, he didn't even use his own financial data! Spoon fed by partisan radio, he threw out what was the de facto standard net income for EVERY small business which was of course the exact $250K that was the cutoff for Obama's planned tax hike.

        He didn't say, I make $40K what are you going to do for me? He said, I'm going to buy my boss's company (with money he didn't have) and instantly make the convenient $250K/year. Not $200K, not $300K, not $240K, not 251K, but EXACTLY $250K/year lol. One half is so dissociated from their own economic situation by political spinmeisters that they don't even associate with their own needs! That's like Thulsa Doom getting the priestess to jump off the cliff wall!

    • by pasv ( 755179 ) on Thursday February 21, 2013 @01:55AM (#42963301) Homepage
      I wish I still had mod points left to mod parent up to 5, insightful. I would like to know how many REAL hours of work this particular CEO puts in on average per day. The average shouldn't include 1.) Meetings that could be done remotely but instead end up being at a venue several miles a way requiring 1st class travel expenses as well as lodging 2.) meetings that don't really get anything done/are not well planned (and never had the intention of being productive) 3.) time he spends making bullshit comments like the one mentioned in TFA
    • by bill_mcgonigle ( 4333 ) * on Thursday February 21, 2013 @03:44AM (#42964023) Homepage Journal

      The problem is that real wages are not keeping up with the levels of productivity increases that technology and knowledge should afford. It hasn't always been this way - look at the chart [huffingtonpost.com] here. You'll see that after 1971 the real share of productivity that the workers saw went away. Unions didn't suddenly crumble in 1971 but the US Dollar did, and that delta in money isn't just evaporating.

      The problem is 1971 is when Nixon put the country on a fiat money system (probably his and Johnson's fault, but that's a separate issue). The problem with that is that with a fiat currency and Keynesian central bankers, steady inflation is a guarantee in the economy. If you have wealth (capital) then you're going to want to protect it, and that means you can no longer hold your wealth in your local bank, making a moderate level of interest while protecting your holdings. If you don't want to lose real value every year, that money now needs to be invested in financial instruments (stocks, bonds, commodities, annuities - whatever Wall Street is selling) that return at a higher rate than inflation.

      Suddenly capital is no longer available for local lending (due to reserve requirements), money that would have otherwise been spent in the local economy is now gone almost immediately (where does that that 10% of your salary into 401(k) match go, eh?). Wealth that was previously re-invested in the local economy in a healthy cycle is now shipped off, leaving capitalism broken on the local level. And with the 70's stagflation the effect was rather sudden, and people had no recourse. Over time the expectations set them have become permanent, and the workers aren't able to solve the problem themselves anymore (short of a massive general strike, anyway).

      This is the same reason trickle-down economics doesn't work anymore - tax cuts at the top don't flow to the workers, they flow to Wall Street (at least to any measurable degree of what they used to). The median hourly wage, in real terms, would be about $37/hr, if trends had kept going as they had for the bulk of the 20th Century before 1971.

      American workers are being systematically screwed out of their earnings for the benefit of the financial sector (the new "robber barons") and the legal tender act ensures that anybody who tries to offer a stable currency as an alternative will get SWAT-raided. It's really no wonder that by any honest measure we're in an economic depression. The odds of it getting any better before a total monetary crash are, unfortunately, quite slim.

  • Titan (Score:4, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 21, 2013 @01:36AM (#42963183)

    Just to give a litttle perspective to all of you Objectivists out there, Maurice is a naughty boy http://www.sec.gov/litigation/litreleases/lr19107.htm, and I'd take anything he says with either a pound of salt or 50k slipped into your brief case.

    But hey, free markets right?

    • Re:Titan (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Austerity Empowers ( 669817 ) on Thursday February 21, 2013 @03:11AM (#42963853)

      Also misinformed about China. They get 1 hr lunch and 1 hour nap (for reals).

      Then if he's paying attention to his peon...I mean subordinates, he'd realise that the typical Chinese day consists of:
      - 3 hours of work
      - 1 hour of lunch
      - 1 hour of nap
      - 3 hours of ineptly expressing why something can't be done as specified and must be redesigned with all chinese parts and chinese sources or made so cheap that it really can only ever possibly barely work
      - 2 hours of fighting to get an american engineer sent overseas for 3 weeks to "expedite completion" (read: do the hard work for them)
      - 1 hour of making cheesy power points that end with bad clip art of disembodied hands shaking
      - a combined total of 1 hour of misunderstandings due to language/cultural/time zone issues
      - 2 hours of business dinners that seriously involve getting each other as piss drunk as possible
      - 1 hour of helping the american you suckered in to visiting the asshole of China (it's never shanghai or beijing, it's always some shithole like guangdong or shenzhen) get laid by a prostitute
      - the rest is lost in blackouts

      At the end of the day, people are people and work as much as they're going to work based on how motivated they are. Given that capitalism does not actually exist for the vast majority of the world (including Americans), that means not so much.

  • by ohnocitizen ( 1951674 ) on Thursday February 21, 2013 @01:37AM (#42963187)
    So we have demonstrably false stereotypes of the French being played up by a conservative who prefers labor practices which exploit workers. As a fellow American, may I just say not everyone here would mock a country for having respect for the well being and rights of its citizens, even those who have a job.
    • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 21, 2013 @01:55AM (#42963307)

      I'm sorry to say, but a lot of the French stereotypes are true. My company purchased over 30 million dollars from a said French company. Their machines and equipment are top notch, high tech, and top of the line. However, the way they treated me (their client) was like absolute dog shit. Getting support for their machines was a nightmare. Most of their workforce would always have some long vacation and petty excuses not to do any work. I visited their manufacturing plant, parked in someones space, and some douchebag parked his vehicle behind my vehicle because he was "angry" at me taking his special parking spot. I of course warned them if this happened again, they would be receiving all their equipment back. Of course they all apologized. But, this nonsense never stopped. When I called for their support engineers to try to fix a problem with one of their machines shutting off 10 times a day, they were always unavailable for through out the entire day except for early morning. If you missed this window, you would never be able to speak to them at all. When I complained about it, they would reply with some rude manner that I was just some gun totting American that wanted his way (I speak French fluently, but they always forgot about that). Really, it's quite true they work for literally 3 hours a day and have literally 2 hour lunch breaks.

      Suffice to say, I made the decision and sent all their equipment back for this lousy practice on the basis of them breaking their contractual duties. They immediately sent the President and Vice President of the company (With a bunch of idiotic French lawyers) to try to beg me to stay with them and not send the equipment back (Over 30+ million dollars worth plus all the labor costs). I of course refused, because I asked them to stop this nonsense before kindly, I already knew it would still continue, even with their promises. I ended up going to their German competitors which we're quite happy to work with, they answer their phones, they don't disappear and they're eager to solve problems.

      So yes, what he says is fucking true.

      • by trytoguess ( 875793 ) on Thursday February 21, 2013 @02:17AM (#42963467)

        If you're going to post anonymously anyways, you could name the company at the very least. That way people could be warned against the company and/or look up said company to see if there's any other data points that'd corroborate your anecdote.

      • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 21, 2013 @02:40AM (#42963637)

        i'm french, i'm working around 50 hours a week, and i'm lunching in a quarter.

        the next 2 weeks, i will be in my sister company in USA, and, i'm really sorry, i'm not impressed by the productivity and organisation

        me : 95% work, 5% communication
        USA : 50% work, 50% communication on the work

        where is the productivity ?

      • by zakkie ( 170306 ) on Thursday February 21, 2013 @02:41AM (#42963643) Homepage

        Sample size of one - must be true for all!

      • by whoever57 ( 658626 ) on Thursday February 21, 2013 @02:42AM (#42963649) Journal
        You post one anecdote. Let me give you my experience.

        I have worked in the UK, Italy, France and the USA. I have worked for British, European and American companies.

        I have not noticed a significant difference in how hard people work. Yes, those supposedly lazy Italians worked hard. They enjoyed their lunch, but got back to work promptly.

        Yes, the French and Italians do take long vacations, but so do the Germans, which makes me think that your story is BS.

        Let's look at specifics:

        they were always unavailable for through out the entire day except for early morning. .... I ended up going to their German competitors which we're quite happy to work with, they answer their phones, they don't disappear and they're eager to solve problems.

        Are you aware of time zones and that Europe is 7-9 hours ahead of the USA (and more for Alaska/Hawaii)? So when you wanted to talk to them, they had finished work for the day? I don't believe the Germans were any better at this because the Germans have a very strong ethos of separating work and home life.

        Perhaps the screw-up was on your part in not making sure that the contract included 24-hr support? If indeed your story has any basis in fact.

        • by radio4fan ( 304271 ) on Thursday February 21, 2013 @03:47AM (#42964043)

          I lived in France for years, and I dearly love France and the French, but his story rings true to me.

          It's not that the French are lazy or incompetent, it's that they suffer from a collective "can't do" attitude.

          You must have experienced this everywhere from restaurants to shops to plumbers, and particularly from anyone who sits behind a desk: nothing is possible, the answer is (almost) always "non".

          And don't get me started on French corporate hierarchy, where seniority is determined by age, time served, or nepotism. It's just not possible to get a foot in the door, work bloody hard, show your competence and advance quickly like it is in Britain and the US.

          I'm not talking about this not being possible for a foreigner, but for French people.

          Read about the French 'Barrez-vous!' (Get out!) movement, which advises young French people just to leave France to escape the ossified hierarchical culture:

          http://barrez-vo2.us/site/ [barrez-vo2.us]

          I still love France though, and intend to go back despite these problems.

      • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 21, 2013 @03:12AM (#42963859)

        Most of their workforce would always have some long vacation and petty excuses not to do any work.

        Yeah, how dare they have more than 0 weeks of vacation per year. I can understand why it was hard for you to deal with such evil.

        I visited their manufacturing plant, parked in someones space, and some douchebag parked his vehicle behind my vehicle because he was "angry" at me taking his special parking spot.

        So let me get this straight... You were an arsehole to someone and then you're upset when the person you were an arsehole to didn't thank you for it?

        When I called for their support engineers to try to fix a problem with one of their machines shutting off 10 times a day, they were always unavailable for through out the entire day except for early morning.

        Fucking timezones. How do they work?

        Really, it's quite true they work for literally 3 hours a day and have literally 2 hour lunch breaks.

        No. No it's not.

      • by mumblestheclown ( 569987 ) on Thursday February 21, 2013 @04:11AM (#42964153)

        Folks, this story obviously never happened. People who have the power to both order and return 30m in equipment don't write like 14 year olds and there are plenty of other hints / discrepancies in this story as well.

  • by Maxo-Texas ( 864189 ) on Thursday February 21, 2013 @01:38AM (#42963191)

    Productivity has risen so much since 1950 that we should be able to work 4 hour days.

    With automation and robotics, we have a time rapidly approaching when there won't be enough work to go around if we insist on full time. There isn't enough work to go around now with some people working 60 hours a week.

    Listen- capital thinks they create jobs. But Henry Ford knew... it is people with money to BUY things that creates jobs. If you don't hire anyone in France at 1st world wages, pretty soon you won't be able to sell your expensive tires there. You'll have to sell them at the prices you sell them in China.

    For comparison- movies that cost $20 in the US cost $2.50 in China. A visit to the doctor for $50 in the US runs $3 in China. Heart surgery that costs $100k in the US runs about $16k in China.

    So if you don't hire french workers, pretty soon you'll have to sell your $20 tires with $2 profit for $3 dollars with $.30 cents profit.

    • by shutdown -p now ( 807394 ) on Thursday February 21, 2013 @01:56AM (#42963311) Journal

      Yeah, but for the time being, they still have a market to sell goods produced by labor paid at third world rates for first world prices. Sure, it'll dry up eventually, and then they're back to the same profit margins that they'd have if they both made and sold it there - but they'll make a hefty profit until then. And what of it if the new market is China? It doesn't really matter if it's made for $2 and sold for $3, or made for $20 and sold for $30 - especially when the purchasing power of that $2 is that much higher (which it will be once the wages are depressed lower in first world countries due to outsourcing).

      Anyway, much as I don't trust the notion that free market solves all problems, this isn't a failure of the free market. The problem here is that while companies are free to shop for labor where it's cheaper, even across country lines, workers can't shop for higher-paid jobs across the same. So the workforce is artificially segregated into compartments, enabling price discrimination between them. Of course this situation will be abused in a capitalist economy, so long as it's legal and it makes money! The only two workarounds are to either let the labor flow freely as well (i.e. open immigration), or impose tariffs on foreign goods to counterbalance the cost of living differences. Both approaches come with strings attached, but the former is straight out nonviable for many reasons (the amount of migration that'll have to happen to even the market is far beyond what first world countries can manage to handle), while the latter would actually work. Ironically, it's being argued against on "free market" basis, even though all it'd do is make the market more free (or at least more balanced!).

  • And yet... (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 21, 2013 @01:43AM (#42963221)

    Funny that the summary doesn't include his initial statement to the French industry official that approached him: "How stupid do you think we are?" [cnbc.com]

    In a word: Very.

    CNN observes that Taylor is not only a relic of the 80s' leveraged buyout "corporate raiders" era, he's a hypocrite as well for wanting to make tires in China:

    "The U.S. government is not much better than the French. Titan had to pay millions to Washington lawyers to sue the Chinese tire companies because of their subsidizing. Titan won. The government collects the duties. We don't get the duties, the government does," said Taylor.

    All of this is beside the point however. US workers have less vacation/break time than anyone else on the planet, in a time where it is increasingly recognized that giving more breaks to workers results in more productivity [theatlantic.com]. The real stupidity comes from failing to notice how well the rest of the world can keep pace with the much-vaunted "American productivity" while maintaining a vastly better quality of life.

  • by ixarux ( 1652631 ) on Thursday February 21, 2013 @01:43AM (#42963231)
    Oh Yes.

    Come down to India and China, where we have no goddamn lives any more. We work more than 12 hours a day on menial tasks at odd times. Forget work-life balance, because we really have no lives. And we work because that's how poor we are, with little choice in life and no government looking out for us. Train us. Use us. Abuse us. Talk to us in racial undertones. Marvel at our ability to take crap for little money.
    Get away with your profits.

    Welcome to the bright world of outsourcing.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 21, 2013 @01:48AM (#42963257)

    Talk about how much they get done.

    If I had a bunch of workers that worked for an hour, but got the same amount of work done as another bunch of workers would in ten hours (assume that the groups are the exact same size), I would happily pay that first bunch a full day's pay of $X rather than pay the second bunch a full day's pay of $X. Sure, they're working fewer hours ... but they're getting more done, so I'd be getting better value for money.

    You get what you measure; if you're measuring the hours worked, you might not be getting the productivity for those hours that you hope for.

    Compare programmers. You'll get better results if they work their 40 hours a week and relax out of hours than if you drive them to work 60 or 80 hours in crunch mode for months on end.

  • by manu0601 ( 2221348 ) on Thursday February 21, 2013 @01:53AM (#42963285)

    France law sets full time workers at 35 hours per weeks. This is much more than 3 hours of work. One could argue that 35 hours is not the highest working time in the world, but french worker GDP per working hour [oecd.org] is quite high, which make France still relevant.

    The Grizz rant is just a point against globalization. It demonstrates very well that it can be used to lower worker conditions as much as wanted.

  • by Okian Warrior ( 537106 ) on Thursday February 21, 2013 @02:01AM (#42963353) Homepage Journal

    US Productivity [google.com] has been rising since the beginning.

    Since 1970 it's more than doubled.

    Productivity in the US is so high that if it were equally distributed, everyone could get $38,000 worth of stuff - every man, woman, and child in the country - and then do it again next year. And the year after that.

    Our productivity is so high we're beginning to run out productive job slots. To take an example, the number of people needed in agriculture is vanishingly small compared to the number needed a hundred years ago. Machines now do most of the work.

    We read about this all the time: Google's self-driving car will put professional drivers out of work, Watson will put many doctors out of work... the list goes on.

    Our culture requires people to work in order to be valid members. We look down upon people receiving welfare, government aid, social security, and so on. The talk around Washington is that people on medicare are moochers! Let's get rid of it and make them pay their own way!

    We've doubled productivity, yet we haven't reduced the time we're required to work - in our "race to the bottom" people are working longer hours for ever lowering wages. Sometimes people have to work 3 jobs just to get by.

    The solution is to reduce the weekly workload of all employees. If we went to a 30-hour work week with overlapping days, we could eliminate unemployment and pay everyone a living wage. As productivity rises, we could cut the working hours even more.

    If we were more like the French, people would have more leisure time to enjoy the fruits of a highly productive society.

    Don't knock the French - they've got this "working for a living" thing figured out.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 21, 2013 @02:29AM (#42963557)

    the CEO forgot one thing :
    workers work only 3 hours a day because they don't have work
    No investment in this factory since 10 years !

    don't forgot : Michelin manufactures tyres in France (and abroad) and wins a lot of money.


    i'm an IT guy
    in our company, we are 2 people to support 130 users, so the ratio is 1 for 65 users
    in the USA sister company, the ratio is 1 for 40 users

      we are less, we do more
    no productivity in France ?

  • Bad headline (Score:5, Informative)

    by Jiro ( 131519 ) on Thursday February 21, 2013 @03:46AM (#42964033)

    Headline: CEO says French workers have a 3 hour day.

    Article: CEO says that French workers have a 7 hour day but loaf a lot.

    In this case it's not just Slashdot that's to blame for the misleading headline, but come on. What he actually said may be insulting to the French, but is not inherently ridiculous. What the headline claims he said is ridiculous. Sensationalism.

  • by roscocoltran ( 1014187 ) on Thursday February 21, 2013 @04:38AM (#42964337)
    The french minister sent an answer to Maurice Taylor (who is known to be a troll btw). I couldn't find an english translation but it's a well written answer. (sorry, only pdf's and jpg available at this time)
    answer page 1 [huffpost.com]
    answer page 2 [huffpost.com]
    About the 3h/day of talking, the factory was in a transition period where they temporarily switched their production line from tires for car to tires for truck, and the production line for car tires wasn't fully operational anymore. Taylor would have sent the workers home without payment, but the french union refused. That's their difference.
    Of course french workers are not allowed to chat for 3h/day, anyone with a sane mind and who have worked in real life understands this.

Karl's version of Parkinson's Law: Work expands to exceed the time alloted it.