Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

EYE ON AFRICA

Donors pledge millions at Uganda refugee summit

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Depp plumbs depths of bad taste

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

France's new frontman, America's absent center, May's Brexit gambit, Saudi royal reshuffle, after Mosul & Raqqa fall

Read more

REVISITED

Senegal’s Casamance hopes for new era of peace

Read more

THE INTERVIEW

FARC disarmament a 'historic day' for Colombia, says president

Read more

FASHION

Cruise collections: All aboard for Dior and Chanel's latest fashions

Read more

ENCORE!

Colombia comes to France

Read more

#THE 51%

The last taboo: Helping women and girls. Period.

Read more

DOWN TO EARTH

Who benefits when the ice caps melt?

Read more

France

Government backs CEO to tackle suicides

Text by NEWS WIRES

Latest update : 2009-10-01

France Telecom CEO Didier Lombard has vowed to end the company's shocking string of staff suicides as French Economy Minister Christine Lagarde renewed her confidence in Lombard to lead the company through the crisis.

AFP - France Telecom's embattled chief executive won support Thursday from the government, which declared that Didier Lombard would see the company through a crisis over workplace suicides.
   
Opposition politicians called on Lombard to resign after a 51-year-old father of two jumped to his death from a highway overpass on Monday, becoming the 24th France Telecom employee to commit suicide in 20 months.
   
But after meeting the chairman and CEO, Economy Minister Christine Lagarde issued a statement asserting "her full and complete confidence in Didier Lombard to lead the company through this difficult and painful period."
   
Unions have blamed France Telecom management for the suicides and called on staff to stage a walkout on Thursday during funeral services for the employee who worked in the southeastern city Annecy.
   
Union leader Patrice Dochet has denounced work conditions at the France Telecom branch in Annecy as "unbearable".
   
A former state monopoly, France Telecom has undergone several major reorganisations in recent years. Unions say it has caused widespread stress.
   
The French state still owns 27 percent of the company, which employs 100,000 people in France.
   
While the suicide rate among France Telecom staff is lower than for the general population, many of the victims killed themselves at work or have left letters blaming work conditions for their despair.
   
A 32-year-old woman killed herself by leaping from the fifth-floor window of a France Telecom building in Paris on September 15. Two days earlier, a male worker stabbed himself in the stomach during a meeting. He survived.
   
Lombard last month vowed to end the "spiral of death" at the firm by setting up a distress line, offering more psychological counseling and putting a freeze on all personnel transfers until October 31.
   
A group of shareholder employees on Thursday called on France Telecom to take decisive measures to tackle the suicide crisis such as halting the payment of dividends that it said was "bleeding" the company dry.
   
The ADEAS group, which holds a four-percent stake in France Telecom, said they wanted "capitalism with a human face" at the company.
   

Date created : 2009-10-01

COMMENT(S)