- The Washington Times - Wednesday, February 20, 2013

France’s work ethic has taken front and center as the chief executive of a U.S. tire maker issued a scathing letter denouncing the country’s policy of trading high wages for little work, that has subsequently been published around the world.

Titan International’s Maurice Taylor, also called “The Grizz” for his aggressive approach to negotiating business deals, wrote a letter to France’s industry minister on Feb. 8 to express no interest in taking over a faltering manufacturing plant that is scheduled to close, Reuters reported.

“The French workforce gets paid high wages but works only three hours,” he wrote, according to Reuters. “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!”

Mr. Taylor then wrote that Titan would rather buy a tire company from China or India, Reuters reported.

“You can keep the so-called workers,” he reportedly wrote.

The industry minister’s office has warned a reply is forthcoming.

“Don’t worry,” said Industry Minister Arnaud Montebourg in a meeting with reporters, according to Reuters. “There will be a response. It’s better written down.”