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Spate of suicides in France after ‘management by terror’

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Trade unionists are blaming a brutal management culture at communications giant France Telecom for a spate of suicide attempts by workers.
Issue 2169

Trade unionists are blaming a brutal management culture at communications giant France Telecom for a spate of suicide attempts by workers.

Six workers at the firm, which owns the Orange mobile brand, have killed themselves since mid-July.

Last week a technician in Paris stabbed himself during a meeting at which he was told his job was to be cut.

A 52 year old employee from Marseille was found dead on 14 July with a note blaming “overwork” and “management by terror” for his death.

His letter continued, “I am committing suicide because of my work at France Telecom. That’s the only reason.”

Bosses at France Telecom responded by saying that it was “too simplistic” to link the workers’ deaths and their experiences at work.

The CFDT union says that 22 France Telecom workers have killed themselves since February 2008.

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