ERJ staff report (BC)
London – Maurice Taylor, CEO of US tire and wheel manufacturer Titan, has caused a firestorm in France, reports The Independent.
Taylor refused to save Goodyear’s ailing Amiens operation on the grounds that its “so-called workers” are lazy and only at their posts for three hours a day.
In a letter to the French industry minister, Arnaud Montebourg, Taylor said that he had visited the Amiens facility, where he said “the French workforce get paid high wages but only works three hours”.
He discussed this with union representatives and claimed they told him “It’s like that in France and it will stay that way.”
Montebourg did not respond immediately, saying he did not wish to harm French interests. But aides said he would reply to Taylor, known as “the Grizz” according to The Independent.
In an interview with Karl Meyer of business journal Les Echos, Taylor said “You’ll end up like Greece, it is [only] a matter of time.”
Asked whether productivity was better elsewhere in Europe, Taylor answered “Germany is much better; they want to work there and have heads on their shoulders. That said, the best production location in Europe is England, … and they have no fools in government. I tell you the truth. I am not politically correct.”
The Goodyear factory in Normandy has been threatened with closure since January, with the predicted loss of 1,173 jobs, after five years of negotiations.
Taylor had been called in to assess whether Titan might take over production of agricultural tires at the loss-making plant.
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