I like it when people speak their minds. I like it even more when they are correct and they blast government officials at the highest levels. And I especially like it when the person blasting government is a prominent person.
Thus I am pleased to report an incredible letter from the CEO of Titan to Arnaud Montebourg, Minister of Industrial Renewal of France, criticizing not only French unions but unions in the USA.
Via Google translate from Les Echos, please consider Incredible Email From the CEO of Titan to Montebourg.
"Les Echos" received a copy of the letter which the President of the American Titan told the Minister of Industrial Renewal why he threw in the towel on purchasing the Goodyear plant Amiens Nord, in a very direct style.
"How Stupid Do You Think We Are?"
Here are some excerpts I transcribed from an image of the letter posted on Les Echos.
Dear Mr. Montebourg:
Goodyear tried for over four years to save part of the Amiens jobs that are some of the highest paid, but the French unions and French government did nothing but talk.
I have visited the factory a couple of times. 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 this to the French union workers to their faces. They told me that's the French way!
The Chinese are shipping tires into France - really all over Europe - and yet you do nothing. In five years, Michelin won't be able to produce tire in France. France will lose its industrial business because government is more government.
Sir, your letter states you want Titan to start a discussion. How stupid do you think we are? Titan is the one with money and talent to produce tires. What does the crazy union have? It has the French government. The French farmer wants cheap tire. He does not care if the tires are from China or India and governments are subsidizing them. Your government doesn't care either. "We're French!"
The US 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.
Titan is going to buy a Chinese tire company or an Indian one, pay less than one Euro per hour and ship all the tires France needs. You can keep the so-called workers. Titan has no interest in the Amien North factory.
Maurice M. Taylor, Jr.
Chairman and CEO
Morry "the Griz" Taylor
A quick internet search led me to Maurice Taylor
Taylor was nicknamed "The Grizz" by Wall Street analysts for his tough negotiating style. Taylor has transformed Titan from a small wheel manufacturing business to a global producer of off-highway wheel and tire systems. Taylor has been in the wheel manufacturing business for over 30 years, and has worked with Titan in various sales, engineering and management positions. He attended Michigan Tech. Taylor served as president and CEO of the company from 1990 to 2005, when he became chairman and CEO.
In 1996, Taylor ran as a Republican candidate for President of the United States, campaigning to bring sound fiscal management and business know-how to Washington.
For further reading, please consider economically insane proposal by French president Francois Hollande "Make Layoffs So Expensive For Companies That It's Not Worth It".
Given that any clear-thinking person should quickly realize that if companies cannot fire workers they will be extremely reluctant to hire them in the first place, it should be no surprise to discover French Unemployment Highest in 14 Years (And It's Going to Get Much Worse).
In France, Government spending amounts to 55% of total domestic output. For discussion, please see Hollande's Honeymoon is Over; 54% of Voters Unhappy; Unions Promise "War" in September.
Please note that the French Labour Minister says France Totally Bankrupt.
Finally, please consider Illusions of Stabilization.
I expect things in France to get worse at an accelerated pace.