Total of 22 workers commits suicides in France Telecom: Union

French Labour Minister Darcos has called for a meeting with the head of France Telecom to discuss a wave of suicides.

Total of 22 workers commits suicides in France Telecom: Union

French Labour Minister Xavier Darcos has called for a meeting with the head of France Telecom to discuss a wave of suicides at the former state monopoly that unions blame on restructuring and work pressure.

Unions called for the state to step in after another employee killed herself on Friday. A union source said the 32-year-old woman had jumped from a fourth floor window after an office meeting.

Her death brings the total number of suicides to 22 since the start of 2008, according to a website set up by unions. There have also been 13 attempted suicides. The site says there are no official statistics, either from France Telecom or elsewhere.

The meeting with Chief Executive Didier Lombard will take place early next week, a spokesman for the Labour Ministry said on Saturday.

"The aim of the meeting is to look at everything that can be done to remedy the wave of suicides that is happening at France Telecom," he said.

"We have to be careful but active on this question."

The French state continues to own 27 percent of France Telecom's share capital after the group was privatised in the 1990s. Two-thirds of its French staff have civil-servant status.

France Telecom's human resources director told a French newspaper it had offered psychological support to colleagues of the woman who took her life and had written to employee doctors to ask them to indicate staff who are in a "fragile situation".


Reuters

Last Mod: 14 Eylül 2009, 08:59
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