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Thursday
Feb212013

US CEO Berates French Workers’ 3-Hour Days

PHILIPPE HUGUEN/AFP/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- An American CEO is jostling café au lait cups in France after declining to invest in a struggling French factory because its “so-called workers” get high wages for working three-hour days.

Maurice Taylor, chairman and chief executive of tire company Titan International Inc., based in Quincy, Ill., wrote a letter to French Industry Minister Arnaud Montebourg, declining to buy a Goodyear tire factory that is being closed in Amiens, France.

“I have visited the factory several times,” Taylor wrote in the letter, as reported by Bloomberg. “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. I told the French union workers this to their faces. They told me that’s the French way!”

According to Titan’s website, “Taylor was nicknamed 'The Grizz' by Wall Street analysts for his tough negotiating style.”

He ran for the Republican presidential nomination in 1996.

Titan International Inc. did not return a request for comment.

“The workers of Goodyear would have considered themselves insulted had the author of the letter been someone credible,” the General Confederation of Labor, or CGT union, said in an e-mailed statement to Bloomberg.

Unemployment in France is at a 15-year high and the closing of the plant means the loss of another 1,173 jobs.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio