Sunday, December 22, 2019

Three French Executives Convicted of Hounding Employees to Death.

The deaths of 35 people, all by their own hand, should never be uplifting but the conviction of the culprits who drove them to it is.
Three former executives of a French telecommunications giant have been found guilty of creating a corporate culture so toxic that 35 of their employees were driven to suicide in the mid-2000s. The charge in the historic case: "harcelement moral institutionnel" or "institutional moral harassment". 
The ruling from a Paris criminal court caps a months-long trial and years-long saga that has spurred protests and highlighted issues of labour relations and workplace conditions in a country with a sometimes contentious relationship to capitalism.
CFE-CGC Orange, a trade union that represents the company's workers, has been tracking employee suicides since 2007, and its leaders said they welcomed Friday's decision.

The spate of suicides, which happened more than a decade ago, came as the company underwent a massive restructuring. Then France's national telephone company, France Telecom embarked on an aggressive plan to cut 22,000 workers and shift another 10,000 into new jobs − all between 2006 and 2008. Most of the employees, because they were civil servants, could not be fired. 
So, prosecutors said, the company's executives tried to make workers' lives so miserable they would leave voluntarily. Lombard, speaking to senior managers in 2007, reportedly vowed, "I'll get them out one way or another, through the window or through the door."


Anonymous said...

Ah, the French. Oh, the banks. As Northern Reflections wrote of today

Ever wondered where arch neoliberal Macron surfaced from?

A retired prof Dr Evan Jones from University of Sydney Australia writes essays on bad and corrupt banking there (makes ours look tame) at

He recently decided to have a critical look at Macron, the essential privatizer currently doing a job on France that Thatcher can only gaze on in pure pleasure from wherever her benighted soul hangs out. Macron seems to have been deliberately incompetent at privatizing airports well before he magically appeared in charge of France - you may remember he suddenly surfaced like a rabbit out of a magician's hat.

Here's the link to Evan Jones article:

Even a bit of the old SNC-L involved, though nothing very tasty. You wonder what they don't do. Managing airports in France isn't the first thing that comes to mind when SNC-L's name is mentioned.


John B. said...

Every slug needs to find his own way of accommodating a little constructive dismissal. The HR maggots will be busy deleting any references to the tactic that might have slipped into company files. I wonder how they'll react at places of much higher learning - the business schools where they've formalized and perfected the cultivation of this dross. But of course, this is France; in Canada the libertarians have too much control over public attitudes to care.

Trailblazer said...

The French take to the streets when they see inequalities quite unlike their North American 'cousins'.

The French revolution lives on unlike the USA one that failed just past the starting line .
The Canadian one ; well it just never happened.


The Disaffected Lib said...

Thanks for the link, BM. This government/private sector corruption is stomach churning whether it's Toulouse airport, Ontario's Hwy 417, the KPMG Isle of Man tax dodge, SNC-L or the rest of them.

The Disaffected Lib said...

John, TB, it makes me dispirited to accept you're both right.

e.a.f. said...

At least FRance has laws to deal with it. don't think Canada has any.

When I see corporate executives carry on like this, it makes you wonder why people think groups like the Hell's Angels are so bad. Its just all business in the end any how.