Saturday, July 9, 2016

Wave of suicides at France Telecom (now Orange) could send top executives to trial for harassment

France Telecom CEO Didier Lombard
PARIS — Paris prosecutors want France Telecom, the former monopoly now known as Orange, and its former boss Didier Lombard to go on trial for psychological harassment in connection with a wave of staff suicides in 2008-2009, sources said on Thursday.

Lombard was head of the firm when more than 30 employees committed suicide during that period, a decade after privatization. Unions said forced relocations and impossible performance targets were behind the deaths.

Two sources close to the investigation and a judicial source said the Paris prosecutor had recommended magistrates send Lombard and the firm to trial to face accusations of psychological harassment.

They said six other executives, three of them still with Orange, should face either the same harassment charge or lesser charges including aiding harassment.

A judge will now decide whether to follow the prosecutor’s advice or dismiss the case.

The judicial source said the executives were suspected of creating a “climate of extreme stress” with the aim of making employees want to leave, constituting a “dangerous degradation of working conditions.”  (more...)


Marshall Petain (left) with his boss
A shout-out to my former colleages at Lucent (acquired by Alcatel) and Nortel Matra.

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