France Telecom has vowed to do everything it can to stop a series of suicides among its staff.
23 people have taken their own lives since the start of 2008 with another 13 attempted suicides. After talks with France’s Labour Minister, Xavier Darcos, the head of France Telecom said measures such as surveillance and counselling would be introduced immediately. France Telecom Chief Executive, Didier Lombard: “We have to control and stop the infernal spiral of suicides, he said it’s our first and utmost priority. We absolutely have to break the contagion effect that has taken hold.” The firm has also announced other measures, such as a temporary halt to relocations and reassignments. The pace of incidents at the firm which employees 102,000 staff in France, has picked up lately, with a man stabbing himself in the stomach during a staff meeting on Wednesday and a woman throwing herself out of a window on Friday, the company said. Unions have blamed chronic restructuring and work pressure at France Telecom for the wave of suicides, saying that some workers are being left behind in the firm’s transformation from a staid government agency to a private company with profit targets and intense competition.