Maurice Taylor is the CEO of Titan International, a tire dealership (he also ran for President of the United States in 1996). Mr. Taylor had evidently been in talks with the French about taking over a Goodyear plant there. It seems Mr. Taylor was none too impressed with the French work ethic, according to a letter he wrote to a French minister which has since become public:
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.
Not very diplomatic, is he?