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Angry French Union Workers Take Two Bosses Hostage

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Zero Hedge
January 7, 2014

Workers at a tire plant in Northern France have taken two managers hostage until Goodyear(the firm that owns the plant and has been trying to shutter it for years) meets the mabor unions demands. WSJ reports, as Goodyear winds down operations with the plant almost idle, French labor law requires the company to keep all workers employed, which means many of them don’t work more than a couple of hours a day while still getting full salary. The situation is why Titan International’s Maurice Taylor blasted that he “would be stupid” to operate the plant on that basis.

As we noted previosuly the tire factory farce escalated a year ago

The saga of the capitalist vs the socialist goes on with Round 3, following round 1 in which the “Titan CEO Crushes Socialist “Work Ethic”, Tells France “You Can Keep Your So-Called Workers” and round 2 in which “Socialist France Responds To Titan CEO, Hilarity Ensues.” With the entire “developed” world now a real-time parody of itself, in which the truth about the true state of affairs is only revealed in grotesque, farcical, ad-hominem repartees between various members of the insolvent status quo plutocracy, we can only hope for many more rounds of this didactic back and forth.

Excerpted from Titan CEO Maurice Taylor’s follow up letter in response to Arnaud Montebourg’s letter responding to Maurice Taylor.

You letter shows the extent to which your political class is out of touch with real world problems.

You call me an extremist, but most businessmen would agree that I must be nuts to have the idea to spend millions of US dollars to buy a tyre factory in France paying some of the highest wages in the world.

Your letter did not mention why the French government has not stepped in to rescue this Goodyear tyre factory.

The extremist, Mr Minister, is your government and the lack of knowledge about how to build a business.

Your government let the wackos of the communist union destroy the highest paying jobs.

At no time did Titan ask for lower wages; we asked only if you want seven hours pay, you work at least six.

France does have beautiful women and great wine.

PS: My grandmother named my father after French entertainer Maurice Chevalier, and I inherited the name.

I have visited Normandy with my wife. I know what we did for France.

But now, Goodyear is entangled in legal proceedings with unions representing workers, led by the communist-backed CGT… and their actions have re-escalated… (via WSJ)

Workers at a Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. factory in northern France prevented two managers from leaving the facility on Monday, the latest in a string of protests by union members who were accused by a U.S. executive last year of doing little work.

Mickaël Wamen, a union representative, said the managers would be held until workers get a satisfactory response to their requests. He said the managers already have been informed that they will spend the night at the site.

Goodyear, of Akron, Ohio, has been trying to shut the plant for several years, but is entangled in legal proceedings with unions representing workers, led by the communist-backed CGT. Efforts to sell the factory to U.S. tire maker Titan International Inc. hit the headlines last year, after Titan Chief Executive Maurice Taylor blasted French labor laws and work habits.

As Goodyear winds down operations and the plant almost idle, French labor law requires the company to keep all workers employed, which means many of them don’t work more than a couple of hours a day while still getting full salary.

The situation enraged Mr. Taylor, who dropped the first offer he had made for the plant and told France’s industry minister that he would be “stupid” to operate in a country where workers get high wages for little work.

Tense labor relations in France were exacerbated by the financial crisis, leading to a string of so-called boss-nappings. In 2009, when industrial companies started retrenching their operations, managers at the French plants of several foreign firms, including Caterpillar Inc., Sony Corp. and 3M Co., were held captive by workers angry at being laid off.

As we warned earlier, this can and will only lead to the triple-dip recession in France as industrial production continues to slump. We strongly urge Detroit’s Kevyn Orr to get a bodyguard…

This article was posted: Tuesday, January 7, 2014 at 6:19 am





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