Detroit Auto Shops: ‘Too Busy’ to Comment on French Work Ethic


In a letter turning down an offer to buy a struggling Goodyear plant in France, Titan CEO Maurice Taylor slammed French tire workers, saying, “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.”

Reuters reports that the 1,250 workers at the Amiens Nord plant have been fighting back against demands to work more shifts – or come to terms with layoffs. Meanwhile, four Detroit-based auto-repair-shop bosses told Thursday they were too busy to take even a few minutes to comment on their French counterparts’ plentiful breaks.

David Jacobs, the operations manager of NYC Tire and Auto Care, a Goodyear repair shop, was shocked by the reported work ethic of the French employees.

“Oh my God, France only puts in three hours of work a day? Our guys work from 8:30 ‘til 6 at night, with only an hour for lunch and maybe 15-20 minutes for a coffee break,” said Jacobs. “A day cannot consist of three hours. How could you be productive with only three hours of work a day? It’s no wonder they’re having problems.”

In his letter, Taylor implicated the union’s role in keeping productivity low: “I told this to the French union workers to their faces. They told me that's the French way!”

Given his own experience, Jacobs said he agreed that the unions were likely playing a big role in the French plant’s inability to turn a profit.

“We’re not a union shop,” said Jacobs. “Unions take such a drain out of the company. While they do good for the employees, they’re bad for the economic growth of companies.”

Titan CEO Maurice Taylor will be on the FOX Business Network tonight with Neil Cavuto at 8 p.m.