Talking to Diebold CEO Tom Swidarski at the company's Emea Expo this week I was a little taken aback by his blunt answer to my question about last years closure of the ATM vendor's manufacturing plant in
Not for Tom the usual waffle about restructuring, he was quite clear about the reasoning behind the decision, despite union threats of legal action, to move to Budapest.
Apparently the French just weren’t up to the job. After seven years in Cassis the company got fed up with throwing away money on training staff who were inefficient if not downright lazy.
It appears that the notorious power of the country’s unions and the level of protection the state provides employees has made some a little complacent.
M. Sarkozy deliver on his promise to make France a more economically liberal place and change employment law? Will he really scrap the 35 hour week?
Without reform France will continue to suffer. Diebold moving to a cheaper location with hungrier workers is one of many examples of the malaise afflicting the country. The young professional classes are flocking to
London to find work and this brain drain will have serious ramifications if it is not stemmed.
I’ve always admired the refusal of the French to let work get in the way of life but it looks as though, with Sarkozy's election, they have finally decided the party must end.