A 57-year-old man burned himself to death in the parking lot of a France Telecom-Orange office yesterday, according to France 24.This dramatic suicide revives concern about the more than the wave of suicides that has plagued the company since 2008. At one time last September there were five suicides in 10 days. This is the second suicide in 2011.
The company has 100,000 employees in France. Although the suicide rate isn’t particularly elevated, there are signs that many were driven by work-related stress or protest, according to France 24:
The CGT union said in a statement that the suicide was “proof that all is not settled at France Telecom, despite what some have said”, in reference to the more than 30 suicides that have plagued the company since January 2008, though they subsided last year.
Unions have blamed the suicides on a plan to restructure the company that was launched in 2004, whereby 22,000 employees have been given incentives to leave their jobs. The CGT added in its statement that the “lack of jobs and unreachable objectives continue to place daily pressure on employees”.