French Orange employees in suicide epidemic
In the seven weeks between January 14th and 6th March this year, 10 staff from different Orange offices in France killed themselves. Officials say that two out of the ten had an obvious connection with troubled private lives, but the other eight seem to be related to stress at work.
Orange is France’s telecommunications behemoth, formerly known as the state owned France Telecom. In 2008/9, when it was still operating as France Telecom, there was a national scandal after 35 employees killed themselves. The then CEO, Didier Lombard, was forced to resign after the deaths.
Union officials are saying that this latest ‘suicide epidemic’ is an ‘alarm bell.’ Head of the SUD trades union Patrick Akermann said:
‘To have so many deaths in so short a period is deeply worrying. Of course, the causes need to be examined further but we believe management must think again about its recruitment policy. The pressures on people at work are sometimes unbearable.’
Now I'm not Miss Marple, but I deduce that Orange is a crappy place to work. Let's hope the company is properly investigated, and employees find some way to relieve their stress, because it isn't worth killing yourself for a phone company. Orange Wednesdays anyone?