The head of U.S. tire maker Titan launched a vitriolic attack on French productivity after the country's socialist government suggested he buy a tire factory in the north of France.
"How stupid do you think we are?" wrote Maurice Taylor, in a letter to French Industry Minister Arnaud Montebourg, obtained by French business newspaper Les Echos on Wednesday.
Montebourg had asked the U.S. mogul to take over a Goodyear tire factory that is due to close.
The factory is located in Amiens in France's industrial heartland, 75 miles north of Paris. Goodyear Tire & Rubber company reported in January that it will close the unprofitable plant, putting around 1,000 workers out of jobs.
In his letter to Montebourg, Taylor left no doubt as to why he did not want to buy the factory.
"I have visited that 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 hours," he wrote.
"I told this to the French union workers to their faces. They told me that's the French way!"