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US CEO Says French Workers Have Three-Hour Work Day

samzenpus posted about a year and a half ago | from the taking-a-long-break dept.

Businesses 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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1313 comments

I don't get it. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42963155)

I respect a politician who speaks the truth. I don't understand why this is news.

Re:I don't get it. (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42963237)

its not a politician its a CEO moron, he just sold out thousands of jobs across the world for slave labor and a fat bonus

Re:I don't get it. (5, Insightful)

The Mighty Buzzard (878441) | about a year and a half ago | (#42963399)

I would have too. Anyone who thinks it's a good idea to charge ten times the cash and do a quarter of the work deserves to starve. Unions can protect you from a lot of bad things but your own greed, laziness, and stupidity are not among them.

Re:I don't get it. (4, Insightful)

Concerned Onlooker (473481) | about a year and a half ago | (#42963535)

I don't know. Pretty much everything in life is negotiable. While I would personally rather work a little harder than that I can appreciate that there are people who push back. Is it laziness and greed or is it just bargaining for the best possible position you can get? After all, isn't that what business is all about?

Vive La France (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42963157)

Another communist country down the toilet!

Re:Vive La France (2)

crutchy (1949900) | about a year and a half ago | (#42963419)

the united states may be the next communist country to go down the drain

oh hang on silly me america is a "democracy" and has a "capitalist" economy

i started off having read the definitions of quoted words in a non-american dictionary

American Wage Slaves are an Even Better Value (5, Insightful)

bit trollent (824666) | about a year and a half ago | (#42963159)

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.

Re:American Wage Slaves are an Even Better Value (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#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.

Re:American Wage Slaves are an Even Better Value (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#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.

It's The American Drean (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#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!)

Re:It's The American Drean (0, Redundant)

gagol (583737) | about a year and a half ago | (#42963293)

+1 insightful.

Re:It's The American Drean (1)

Osgeld (1900440) | about a year and a half ago | (#42963303)

so what are the developing powerhouses where people line up for 70 cents an hour?

freedom fighters? NO

Re: It's The American Drean (4, Informative)

madprof (4723) | about a year and a half ago | (#42963411)

Um, they earn more than that in Germany but have a better lifestyle.

Re: It's The American Drean (1)

Osgeld (1900440) | about a year and a half ago | (#42963499)

cited examples were india and china

Re:It's The American Drean (5, Insightful)

MrEricSir (398214) | about a year and a half ago | (#42963327)

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.

Re:It's The American Drean (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42963369)

teachers need to be fired, the good ones leave for private and charter schools, the rest work just enough to make a long term contract then sit on their fat worthless asses.

Just cause you choose a profession does not mean you should be entitled to it for life if you do no perform, this is the exact opposite of the current situation

Re: It's The American Drean (3, Insightful)

madprof (4723) | about a year and a half ago | (#42963431)

Somewhere in there you have a reasonable point i.e. no one should expect a job on a plate and everyone must work hard.
The rest is just nonsense.

Re: It's The American Drean (0, Troll)

Rockoon (1252108) | about a year and a half ago | (#42963481)

The tenure problem is not nonsense.

If you think its nonsense, then you either havent been paying any attention or you have been writing off the endless stream of evidence as "propaganda."

Re: It's The American Drean (4, Insightful)

csirac (574795) | about a year and a half ago | (#42963581)

Just how many teachers have tenure? Honest question, I thought it was quite rare. Here in Australia, we're spending more than ever on education (iPads, sporting stuff, school halls) and yet my cousin's school last year could not afford highschool maths text (poorly OCRd PDFs of painfully substandard material don't count). We have far worse education outcomes than 10 years ago. Our neighbours are kicking our arses in educating highschool kids, and one of the biggest differences is the totally opposite spending priorities - fewer computers and iPads, better paid (relative to median wage) teachers.

Re: It's The American Drean (4, Funny)

dcollins (135727) | about a year and a half ago | (#42963583)

Watching FOX News does not count as an "endless stream of evidence" on this issue, any more than it does for global warming or Mitt Romney winning in a landslide.

Re:It's The American Drean (4, Insightful)

hedwards (940851) | about a year and a half ago | (#42963541)

And if teachers were paid a rate of pay commensurate with the level of education, continuing training and time spent working, it would probably be easier to retain them. Not to mention the lack of proper support staff.

Anybody taking a teaching job in the US for an entitled life long career is making a serious mistake. Teacher burn out is such that nearly half the teachers leave the profession in the first 5 years.

Re:It's The American Drean (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42963375)

Some people vote on the principal that it's wrong to take other people's hard earned money. You probably wouldn't understand.

Re:It's The American Drean (0)

amiga3D (567632) | about a year and a half ago | (#42963385)

You selfish person, there are others that need that cash. Pay up bitch!

Re:It's The American Drean (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42963457)

And some people vote on the principle that everything that you accomplish today is based off of thousands of years of human civilization and investment, not to mention the security and infrastructure that your current government provides. Being part of a society means that you acknowledge the investments of the past and then you invest in the future as compensation. There is no such thing as a self-made man--if you can show me how a person who was raised by wolves and never had contact with civilization who independently invented technology worth billions of dollars to us today, then maybe I'll change my mind. Otherwise you need to acknowledge that our great capitalists are just people who put the final brick in a product that was developed and made possible by all of humanity. They deserve credit for the brick, but they don't get to treat other humans like slaves nor amass insane fortunes.

Re:It's The American Drean (-1, Troll)

The Mighty Buzzard (878441) | about a year and a half ago | (#42963623)

The flip side of that is, much of what you take for granted today as necessities of life only exist because some capitalist bastard figured out how to make something faster and cheaper so he could make more money. Should the poor have to give a portion of their income to the rich because now even poor people have a car, a TV, climate control in their home, clean water, refrigerated food, and cold beer? The innovations of industry have raised the standard of living of every citizen far more than anything the government has ever done. Don't believe me? Visit Somalia or somewhere else they simply don't exist. They know what poor is, you don't have a fucking clue.

Re: It's The American Drean (1)

madprof (4723) | about a year and a half ago | (#42963471)

Maybe they understand but they don't agree? After all, the army are paid with other people's money but you wouldn't be without them, would you?

Re:It's The American Drean (5, Insightful)

sqrt(2) (786011) | about a year and a half ago | (#42963559)

In a society so interconnected and interdependent, no one's hard earned money is entirely their own. We all rely on each other in myriad ways. If you really think you're an island of rugged individualism, please go find an actual island to live on and prove it.

Re:It's The American Drean (1)

hedwards (940851) | about a year and a half ago | (#42963561)

That's true, and that's why I continue to vote against GOP candidates and policies.

Re:It's The American Drean (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42963539)

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

The US military could easily turn on the politicians and return the country to a place people actually can live in freedom.

Re:American Wage Slaves are an Even Better Value (2, Insightful)

Osgeld (1900440) | about a year and a half ago | (#42963279)

back in the late 90's and early 2000's I kinda wanted to see what union life was about, what extra money I made was sucked dry by dues and living expenses

now I am glad to live in a right to fire er work state, neither of you have to put up with bullshit and slackers

you dont like it leave, they dont like it, you are gone. cheap land, cheap taxes, lower wages, but one could live sparingly off of one 40 hr a week 9$ an hour job.

vs a documentary I recently saw about a closing GM plant, where a widget placer ... that should have been replaced by a robot, with a high school diploma was complaining that she would have to take three 9$ an hour jobs to make ends meet while living in a spartan house and owning 2 10 year old cars.

shit, if I was sucking in 27 bucks an hour where I live, I could have 4 acres of woodland,and a lower end a mc mansion, not a 1940 factory shack with peeling floors

Re:American Wage Slaves are an Even Better Value (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42963543)

If you could make $27/hour where you live then lots of other people probably could too, the land and housing would be more expensive, and you'd be paying more for the same standard of living.

On the other hand, you'd probably be able to save more too and eventually retire to a place where people only earn $9/hour.

Re:American Wage Slaves are an Even Better Value (4, Insightful)

pasv (755179) | about a year and a half ago | (#42963301)

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

Re:American Wage Slaves are an Even Better Value (3, Interesting)

jrumney (197329) | about a year and a half ago | (#42963461)

4) Golf.
5) Business Lunches that last several hours and involve enough alcohol consumption to write off the rest of the day.

I'm sure there are more...

Re:American Wage Slaves are an Even Better Value (5, Insightful)

The Mighty Buzzard (878441) | about a year and a half ago | (#42963475)

You seem to be under the impression that executive positions are pay for x amount of work like wage positions. They're not. If a CEO hires VPs that can run their divisions well enough that he can sit at home playing video games all day, he's done his job and done it well. Only results matter, hours put in mean nothing.

Now if you'd like to bitch that a lot of today's CEOs keep their jobs and make mad cash while their company flounders, that's another matter entirely.

Re:American Wage Slaves are an Even Better Value (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42963563)

You seem to be under the impression that executive positions are pay for x amount of work like wage positions. They're not. If a CEO hires VPs that can run their divisions well enough that he can sit at home playing video games all day, he's done his job and done it well. Only results matter, hours put in mean nothing.

Now if you'd like to bitch that a lot of today's CEOs keep their jobs and make mad cash while their company flounders, that's another matter entirely.

Yeah but if I get my week's worth of work completed by noon Monday I cannot take off the reset of the week with pay. If only I could, my life would be fantastic.

Re:American Wage Slaves are an Even Better Value (5, Insightful)

Mitreya (579078) | about a year and a half ago | (#42963587)

You seem to be under the impression that executive positions are pay for x amount of work like wage positions. They're not. ... Only results matter, hours put in mean nothing.

Or perhaps he is suggesting that the "3 hour" metric is meaningless for the regular workers too. If they get their job done, who cares how many hours they work, 3 or more? If they don't, then working 12 hours a day will not benefit anyone either.

Re:American Wage Slaves are an Even Better Value (3, Insightful)

LordLimecat (1103839) | about a year and a half ago | (#42963629)

I havent done a day of union work in my adult life, and I would hardly call the work I do "slave labor". In fact we have by many measures one of the cushiest lifestyles in the world -- median pay, mean pay, average household purchasing power, etc.

I mean, i know this is slashdot and all, but seeing ignorant, inflamatory posts getting modded +5 gets a little old, you know?

Titan (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#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 (1)

statsone (1981504) | about a year and a half ago | (#42963317)

very interesting.

And I bet h has never been in France to begin with

Re:Titan (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42963555)

next time you take an underhanded shot at something you don't understand, would you please shut the fuck up?

Do a little reading about free markets. They're not perfect. But they do recognize that bad people will exist, and some will be discovered. When they're discovered, people will spend their money elsewhere - or not, if the service is still worth the cost.

To paraphrase you: but government intervention is really working well here, eh?

dumbfuck.

Pro Exploitation CEO (5, Insightful)

ohnocitizen (1951674) | about a year and a half ago | (#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.

Re:Pro Exploitation CEO (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42963305)

Do you know why cheap labor has moved from country to country over the last few decades? Over time, the standard of living increases and workers expect more compensation for their labor. This isn't exploitation, it's the path to economic growth. Do you really think you can take a country from zero to US standards without following the same natural progression that we followed? It's just not economically feasible.

Re:Pro Exploitation CEO (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#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.

Re:Pro Exploitation CEO (4, Informative)

trytoguess (875793) | about a year and a half ago | (#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.

Re:Pro Exploitation CEO (1)

TubeSteak (669689) | about a year and a half ago | (#42963329)

Cheap labor republicans and democrats are the worst.
Their policies have lead the country to unprecedented concentrations of wealth and the destruction of the middle class.

There is always someone willing to do the same job for less pay and longer hours.
The end result may look good for Wall Street, but it is bad for the country.
Destroying worker protections leads to pre-union conditions, not a post-union-free-market-utopia.

Re:Pro Exploitation CEO (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42963513)

Believe what you like, but these are genuine cultural differences. Italy and Spain, too. It's part of any International Business curriculum, to be understood, like appreciating the differences in group-oriented Asian cultures, or that setting times for calls and meetings in Eastern Europe don't carry the same weight and urgency as they do here.

The downside for them is their economies don't rebound like other nations (see: recent news), and they're more likely to suffer from regular disruptions of basic infrastructure due to frequent labor strikes and simple inefficiencies. Their entire economies are molded around a different culture.

He might have been obnoxious about it, but it is generally accurate.

Key problem: "And import them back to france" (4, Insightful)

Maxo-Texas (864189) | about a year and a half ago | (#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.

Re:Key problem: "And import them back to france" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42963253)

Yes, but there are twice as many of us to feed!!!!! All the productivity gain is for naught if the population keeps going up.

Re:Key problem: "And import them back to france" (2)

LordLucless (582312) | about a year and a half ago | (#42963267)

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

We used those productivity gains to increase our GDP rather than shorten our workday. While an increased GDP inflates the bank balances of the rich more than it does the middle-or-lower classes, there are benefits in having a strong economy for us too; most people I know are living "better" (bigger house, more expensive car, more travel, more disposable income) than their parents were at the same age - and frequently with lower debt.

Re:Key problem: "And import them back to france" (1)

Kaenneth (82978) | about a year and a half ago | (#42963533)

Also, 'doing more' isn't always good.

If you government were to pay people to dig ditches all day to eliminate unemployment, it would lead to soil erosion, dust pollution, on the job injuries, digs into fiber optic cables, etc. etc.

Sometimes, it's best to do nothing.

Re:Key problem: "And import them back to france" (1)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | about a year and a half ago | (#42963619)

I would happily live in a moderately sized cupboard and forgo all international travel if it meant I could work for just two days a week.

Re:Key problem: "And import them back to france" (5, Insightful)

shutdown -p now (807394) | about a year and a half ago | (#42963311)

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!).

Re:Key problem: "And import them back to france" (1)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | about a year and a half ago | (#42963631)

Even if open immigration was permitted everywhere, there would still be practical issues maintaining segregation of working populations. Language and cultural barriers.

Re:Key problem: "And import them back to france" (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42963455)

I keep hearing this "not enough work" nonsense. Look around. Don't you see many things that need to be done but aren't? There's plenty of work. I see enough for me to do in three lifetimes. The problem isn't a lack of work. The problem is that the very people who keep touting the power of the market have created a market where most work will never be done. It is their job to find ways to create a profit from work, and they're not doing it.

Re:Key problem: "And import them back to france" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42963549)

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.

China prices are a bit off but your point is well made: Movies $5 minimum, Doctor Visit: $0.70 (tests are more), surgery sounds about right for a really top-notch hospital. Food is the big difference, it's a fraction of the price compared to the US.

I dont know (1)

Osgeld (1900440) | about a year and a half ago | (#42963195)

If its true, I have only been to a remote colony in the Caribbean, but what pissed me off was the statement afterwords of "pay less than one Euro per hour wage and ship all the tires France needs" (speaking of china and india)

well fuck the hell out of you too, I just bought new tires, and they were not Michelin, I felt they were average tires for premium price ... but buddy I will never ever even acknowledge your brands even exist any more, and if anyone asks I will be sure to share your feelings.

Why talk for 3 hours? (1)

Nyder (754090) | about a year and a half ago | (#42963199)

I'm down with an hour for breaks and an hour for lunch, but i don't understand the "talk" for 3 hours. What exactly do they "talk" about for 3 hours?

Re:Why talk for 3 hours? (1, Troll)

ILongForDarkness (1134931) | about a year and a half ago | (#42963283)

Just like in the US they bitch about only getting 8 weeks vacation and 2 years for parental leave.

Re:Why talk for 3 hours? (4, Insightful)

dcollins (135727) | about a year and a half ago | (#42963291)

It's just bullshit some scumbag CEO made up. Don't pay it any heed.

Re:Why talk for 3 hours? (5, Insightful)

HornWumpus (783565) | about a year and a half ago | (#42963309)

How many hours a day do you spend zoning out in meetings? That's the American Way.

Three hours actual productive work per day? I wish. Air thieves doing negative work everywhere. 'We should put together a committee to study the problem, meet once a week.' I run when I hear that phrase. Actually I run when I see where the conversation is headed.

Re:Why talk for 3 hours? (2)

Osgeld (1900440) | about a year and a half ago | (#42963381)

production workers typically get 2 15 min breaks and a 30 min lunch, which is what we are talking about

Re:Why talk for 3 hours? (4, Funny)

hargrand (1301911) | about a year and a half ago | (#42963323)

It's France... they talk to enjoy the sound of their language.

Re:Why talk for 3 hours? (4, Informative)

Osgeld (1900440) | about a year and a half ago | (#42963401)

I hate hour long lunches

ok I did not hate them when I lived 5 min away from my house, but otherwise OMFG shoot me in the head with a nail gun ... even if I go somewhere it doesnt take me an hour to eat a sandwich, then what do you do

I rather go home a half hour earlier

Vive la France! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42963207)

I want to move there today! (And the wine there is better, too).

And yet... (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#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.

Re:And yet... (-1, Troll)

crutchy (1949900) | about a year and a half ago | (#42963507)

most americans don't even have real jobs

i wonder what the unemployment figure in the united states would be if only tthe number of private sector (real) jobs were divided by the total population between the age of 17 and 65

if it was more than 50% i wouldn't be at all surprised

america is full of moochers, living in their socialist dreamland where money rains (from the fed) and government jobs, handouts and imports are taken for granted and held in higher regard than the right of free speech

i really feel sorry for the real american middle class (meaning those emplyees that don't work for the government) because you are financing an organisation with the biggest non-productive (overhead) costs compared to any other legal entity on earth in history

Oui (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42963229)

Fraternité, Liberté, Société

Foreign concepts to the modern 'American Mind.' :)

Come over to India and China (5, Informative)

ixarux (1652631) | about a year and a half ago | (#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.

Re:Come over to India and China (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42963435)

US worker here

I traveled cross country for a week working from 9 to midnight, came back and was releived to have 12 hour days

you are not the only ones who actually work

What are his views of US workers? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42963233)

I'm sure he thinks that US workers are also lazy. He probably thinks we talk for three and work for five.

As opposed to... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42963243)

As opposed to the Chief Executive who talks maybe 6 hours a day and eats lunch for 2 hours.
I'm a newly appointed director working under a CEO and as far as I can they generally only give an ever increasing distribution of work.
Meanwhile they try to ever decrease thier workload.

Ummm... (1)

c0lo (1497653) | about a year and a half ago | (#42963245)

What exactly is the difference between buying a factory in France and/or one in US?

Seems to me it's still stupid to buy a factory in US. Reductio ad absurdum, assume it wouldn't be stupid, then why the choice to buy a factory in India instead of US?
Wouldn't this make CEO's "high moral ground" position leaning towards hypocritical? (as in: "I'm going to buy a factory in India anyway, you know it makes business sense. But I'll use the opportunity to bash a bit these Frenchmen")

Re:Ummm... (1, Interesting)

Z34107 (925136) | about a year and a half ago | (#42963319)

The difference is labor laws. In America, for example, you can actually fire someone [businessweek.com] .

Hilarious... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42963249)

I find it hilarious to imaging an entire factory of french workers just screaming at each other for 3 hours in that horrible language

Don't talk about how much workers "work" ... (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#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.

Re:Don't talk about how much workers "work" ... (1)

Osgeld (1900440) | about a year and a half ago | (#42963441)

its a automated line dipshit, not your SEO site

the line runs at X units per hour, if people are only there for 3 hours, you get 3 hours of shit done, no matter what unless something breaks

Re:Don't talk about how much workers "work" ... (1)

CastrTroy (595695) | about a year and a half ago | (#42963463)

But we're not talking about programming here, we're talking about tire factories. After a bit of training, I don't think there's any difference in the per hour output of a Chinese factory worker vs. the French/US factory worker. If that 3 hour work day is what usually goes on in France (and judging by what I've seen of union workers in Canada, it's believable), then they would be nuts to build a factory there. If you could get them to actually work hard for 7-8 hours day, then it "might" be worth it, but even then, the wages for union jobs are usually so much higher than what their skill level dictates that it isn't even worth it too open a factory.

Re:Don't talk about how much workers "work" ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42963465)

Unfortunately, we count in hours and at the rate of his or her specialty, which has inflated the price and made us just as lazy as those French workers. It would have to be a huge revolution in the industry to get what you're asking because a lot of workers and contractors would refuse working like that, since they can't "milk" you for more money. I would gladly pay my workers a full days wage for getting projects and work done in an hour (I would even pay them extra), but unfortunately, what I get instead is they work for 5 minutes, then loiter around for hours, and finish an hours work in small increments through out the day, then asking me for more overtime pay to complete the project, trying to milk me like a cow. Oh yes, I've tried increasing wages by quite a bit to see if the attitude would improve, it's all the same, except worse, because I end up spending more money.

Point against globalization (4, Insightful)

manu0601 (2221348) | about a year and a half ago | (#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.

Many unions in the US aren't much better. (3, Insightful)

Chas (5144) | about a year and a half ago | (#42963295)

The main problem is that most unions are about nepotism and self-perpetuation nowadays.

They don't really provide all that much protection to workers anymore.
And they don't provide all that much help in collective bargaining with owners anymore.
They have their nice, rigid little idea of the way things "ought to be" with a bunch of leeches falling between the cracks while other, honest, hardworking members get shafted. Why?

The three tier structure in most unions.

The union leaders, "Old Boys' Club" (who are in good with the former), and "Those other peons" (who aren't in good with the former). Each tier being an order or two of magnitude larger than the one preceding it.

So you get guys whose job it is to stuff their thumbs up their asses all day and do nothing, getting paid huge sums compared to the union average.
Then you get the guys who know them who get the "supervisor" positions. Again, full time, much higher wages than the average.
Then you get pretty much everyone else. The poor schlub who's just there to do his job as best he can. Who doesn't happen to fit in to the social group. The guys who're constantly off work because "there's no work". Or they're being replaced by someone with more clout.

Fuck unions.

At one point, they were a good and useful thing in this country.

Nowadays, they're just an extra hand out looking for more money who provide no service.

Re:Many unions in the US aren't much better. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42963445)

As a former union Laborer (LIUNA/AFL-CIO) I can attest that this is 100% absolutely true. I hear my old Union president retired and his son is now a business manager on his way to becoming the pres. Pathetic.

Re:Many unions in the US aren't much better. (-1, Troll)

Required Snark (1702878) | about a year and a half ago | (#42963615)

Do you even know anyone in a union? I doubt it.

In the Miracle in the Hudson, where Sullenberger saved an entire plane load of people, everyone who made that happen was a union member. Sullenberger was not just the pilot, he was union head for his airline. The flight attendants were all in a union. The air traffic controllers are in unions. The fire/police/rescue responders were unionized. The water taxi and ferry boat personal were also all in unions. The only people involved who were not known to be in a union were the airplane passengers who lived because of all the union people you despise.

Just remember, almost all police, fire and emergency response personal are in unions, as are nurses. If you really hate unions that much I suggest that you never get sick, need an emergency or look to police for anything. Given the self righteous hysterical tone of your rant, I know that you are exactly the kind of person who squeals like a stuck pig when the cops aren't there within seconds of your call. You expect everyone should be at your beck and call.

I know the head of the teacher's union at a local community college. She puts in as much overtime as any software geek I know, and she keeps the self serving incompetent management from driving away all the dedicated teachers who are the only people in the system who give a damn about the students.

All the elementary and secondary teachers I know, who are in unions, buy a large component of the supplies need to teach classes. Have you ever had to buy any supplies for a full time job? i doubt it.

I know people who have done union apprentice programs. It's hard. You are such a whiner I don't think you have what it takes to persevere in that kind of program.

You are ignorant and arrogant. You clearly have no real experience when it comes to labor, and it shows.

Fuck you, asshole.

Funny how (1)

smegfault (2001252) | about a year and a half ago | (#42963325)

The French still managed to gift the US a statue of liberty if all they do all day is drink wine and speculate about the impending Communist world revolution.

And this is shocking because? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42963333)

Sorry, which part of what he's saying isn't true?

Beyond the lack of any kind of work ethic, it's amazing that anyone decides to open a business in France given that: it's impossible to fire anyone ever, there are yearly scheduled "strikes" which "coincidentally" happen during the nicest weather, there are crushing taxes, and you must comply with esoteric and expensive language rules.

Of course, they do have good food and wine, so that's something.

These French workers are being driven like slaves (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42963345)

In any given work week I only do 15 minutes of real work

French-Canada is similar (1)

AlienSexist (686923) | about a year and a half ago | (#42963351)

Boss had a trip to meet with an industry leader in Montreal. He was amazed how little people worked up there.

The French have the right idea (5, Insightful)

Okian Warrior (537106) | about a year and a half ago | (#42963353)

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.

Re:The French have the right idea (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42963437)

And to make it work, all we'd have to do is pay the CEOs a lot less....

Re:The French have the right idea (3, Interesting)

Osgeld (1900440) | about a year and a half ago | (#42963449)

Mexican do most of the work.

FTFY

Re:The French have the right idea (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42963589)

In agriculture most of the work is done by a combine if we're talking volume of harvested material. Immigrant workers do quite a bit of vegetable/fruit harvesting though, but that is not going to be the case in less than 10 years.

I'm With the CEO (2, Interesting)

Snap E Tom (128447) | about a year and a half ago | (#42963413)

As a guy who worked for a company with its headquarters in France, I'm siding with the CEO on this.

US CEO splooges hypocrisy: (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42963473)

"They get one hour for breaks and lunch, talk for three and work for three."

Sounds like most of the goddamned 'management' in the US. Except the french work MORE, it seems.

Head a Company (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42963491)

#1 If your lazy move someplace with socialist policies
#2 I support socialism
#3 I head a small company that I started
#4 I work a lot of hours
#5 I make good money
#6 My employees make shit, my last two employee I started at $8, one wasn't worth $8 an hour, the other was, and was/is worth $60,000 a year easy, not that the business can afford that yet
#7 Don't work for someone else at shit pay
#8 Work a crap load of hours and stop being lazy, work your ass off for yourself, and start a family when you can afford it
#9 DON'T bitch about immigration unless your going to accept legalizing more of it and undoing the laws which push wages down!!!!! Illegal labor is good for the employer and bad for the legal workers because it pushes wages down. Laws which let in more legal worker and then make it difficult to switch jobs push wages down!!!!
#10 You still need to work your ass off if you plan to compete
#11 If your going to get educated and pay through the roof do so only if that academic path leads to jobs in ample supply with insufficient workers at high wages
#12 If you get a degree in English, History, or some other area you should expect to live on welfare, your a useless bum to society and not intelligent enough to be useful to anyone. You'd save employers and everybody else's time/effort/money by NOT WORKING!

US is the home of sweatshops and exploitation. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42963493)

I rest my case.

how to work more when you don't have work ? (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#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.

http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/magazine/january_february_2012/features/the_myth_of_american_productiv034576.php

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 ?

It depends (2)

ikhider (2837593) | about a year and a half ago | (#42963567)

There are good products that come from France, whether it is food, clothing, houseware, colognes, and the like. France is usually associated with luxury products. What is important is the net result. What are they making? What is the quality of the product? If it takes them three hours to make/build a top quality item, so be it. As a consumer, I care about the end result. Products made where labour is exploited tends to be shoddy. There has to be care and pride infused into a product. Watchmakers do not spend many hours a day working, but they produce amazing results. There is such a thing as 'work hard', but also 'work smart'. I feel awful for workers in Mexico who break their back for a lousy 60 dollars per week, and their living expenses are not that different from the USA. I prefer products not made by slaves. If I was setting up a factory, I want to make sure my products are made with care, love, and pride.

Probably True (1)

FuzzNugget (2840687) | about a year and a half ago | (#42963609)

And, if my understanding is correct, that's all they need to work because their productivity is just that high.

Maybe they don't treat their employees like expendable shit and have less anxiety about career stability.

Re:Probably True (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42963625)

Buahaha, if their productivity was just that high, the CEO wouldn't be complaining, dipshit.

Worked hours vs. actual work (2)

kilodelta (843627) | about a year and a half ago | (#42963613)

I've been in jobs where the actual work could be phoned in. You could get caught up by say 10:30AM. The rest of the day you bullshitted with co-workers, had lunch, took a walk, did whatever.

In a lot of U.S. business it's nothing but busy work and seat time.
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