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A spate of staff suicides has sparked claims that France Telecom is piling too much pressure on its workers. 
 
In Paris, yesterday, a 32-year-old woman jumped from an upstairs office window at a building belonging to the firm’s mobile subsidiary Orange.
 
Unions say her death brings to 23 the number of France Telecom employees who have taken their own lives in the last 19 months.
 
Chronic restructuring within the company and work pressure are, they believe, largely to blame.
 
“People regularly change sites, teams, managers, products they are working on. This means they are losing links with their colleagues. As a result, they feel isolated and fragile. If there is an incident, in their professional or private lives, it may be the thing that makes them that bit more fragile and makes them suffer,” said Cyril Lafarge of the CFDT union.
 
“We are urging the state, our largest stakeholder at 27 percent, to protect the welfare of the 100,000 people who work for France Telecom,’‘ added CFE-CGC union delegate Sebastien Crozier.
 
On Wednesday a technician in Troyes, southeast of Paris, stabbed himself at a staff meeting after learning he was going to have to change jobs. He is being treated for stomach wounds in hospital.
 
Unions say staff need more help to cope with changes since the firm’s partial privatisation.

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