Keyword: France Telecom
The trial in Paris on charges of moral harassment of the former CEO of France Télécom and six other senior executives of the company, who are accused of causing a wave of staff suicides amid a brutal corporate restructuring plan, ended on Thursday. While the verdicts will only finally be announced in December, the prosecution has demanded that the defendants be handed maximum sentences, which include jail terms of between eight months and one year. Mediapart turned to Rachel Saada, a French lawyer specialised in labour law cases and who notably represented the families of Renault staff who took their lives in a wave of suicides at the carmaking group between 2006-2007, for her analysis of the trial, and its implications for corporate culture in France.
At the end of a trial of more than two-and-a-half months on moral harassment charges of the former CEO of France Télécom and six other top executives, whose brutal plan of cost-cutting and job-axing in the mid 2000s was cited as the cause of dozens of suicides and attempted suicides among personnel, Orange – as the company was renamed in 2013 – has offered to pay damages to the victims and relatives, while staff unions are demanding that compensation be paid by the defendants themselves.
Relatives of some of the more than 30 staff at the telecoms giant, now renamed Orange, who committed suicide during a brutal job-axing and restructuration programme say they hope the verdicts at the end of a two-month trial of the company's former CEO and six other senior executives on moral harassment charges will serve to prevent similar management practices in other corporations.
In an ongoing trial in Paris, the former boss of France Télécom, the now renamed Orange telecommunications giant, along with six of his former top executives, stand accused of moral harassment of staff in a brutal four-year cost-cutting plan to axe 22,000 jobs, during which more than 30 employees took their own lives, including by immolation, hanging and defenestration. At least 13 others attempted suicide, and many more were diagnosed with depression. One of the latter is Yves Minguy, a highly skilled computing engineer who, after 35 years with the company, was humiliatingly posted to answer the telephone at a customer call centre. He took to the witness stand last week and afterwards told Mediapart of the duty he felt to speak “for those who are no longer here”.
The trial has opened in Paris of Didier Lombard, the former head of France Télécom, the telecoms giant now renamed Orange, and six other former executives, including its Human Resources director, for their alleged responsibility through moral harassment in at least 19 suicides of employees during a restructuring of the company, which saw 22,000 jobs axed and another 14,000 posts reassigned.
Didier Lombard, the former CEO of France Telecom (now Orange) and six other company executives are to stand trial on charges of engaging in or assisting psychological harassment of their staff, which allegedly led to the suicides of more than 30 employees in the space of two years.
At least 19 staff took their lives in 2008 and 2009 and company and ex-boss are suspected of using policy of unsettling staff to hasten job losses.
Newspaper report suggests the former state-owned French telecoms giant has been sharing information with security services for many years.
Labelling it a 'serious alert', an organisation that monitors work conditions said the majority of these suicides were 'explicitly related to work'.
The French telecommunications giant says no passwords were stolen in the attack but some personal details of customers were accessed.
Judges suspect Stéphane Richard of conspiracy to commit fraud over his role in a 403-million-euro award in 2008 to tycoon Bernard Tapie.
Shareholders in the country's partly state-owned telecommunications giant have voted for the change, which comes into effect on July 1st.
Company says the origin of a problem that left 26 million customers unable to make calls or send text messages was a software problem.