It appears that former management of Orange – France Telecom as then was – are guilty of creating such a toxic workplace that it led to people committing suicide.
The correct answer to which is allow companies to fire people and you’ll have peoples’ lives.
Former executives at France Télécom have been given prison sentences and fines after being found guilty of “institutional harassment” and creating a culture of routine workplace bullying that sparked a number of suicides at the company.
The landmark ruling is likely to send shockwaves through the French business world. It is the first time managers have been held criminally responsible for implementing a general strategy of bullying even if they had not dealt directly with the staff involved.
It’s worth pointing out that the “wave” of suicides is well within the normal statistical variation for a group of people that size. Each and every suicide is indeed a tragedy and yet they do happen. The French rate is some 15 per 100,000 per year, we’d thus expect around 15 suicides a year – around note, around – in a company France Telecom’s size. The rate being complained of wasn’t all that different from that.
But let’s ignore that and carry on with what is actually being claimed. The suicides were driven to it by those intolerable working conditions. And some of them appear to have been pretty bad:
For two and a half months, the court listened to the families of the victims and projected letters and photos on a giant screen. One read: “I am committing suicide because of my work at France Telecom, it’s the only cause.”
OK. So, why were they doing this?
Prosecutors say the management created a hostile work environment to get employees to quit, in a restructuring process that former employees allege became so severe that it led some staff to take their own life.
That’s the claim. But why in hell do it that way? Why not just fire people?
Because in France it’s damn near impossible to fire someone who has an employment contract. Thus the only way to downsize the workforce is to terrorise into people leaving. That’s actually the prosecution case.
And, well, shouldn’t we be blaming the laws which mean you can’t fire people? Or even, pointing out that if you can fire people then you don’t need to terrorise them into leaving?
But there we have it, workers’ rights, employment protection, they kill the workers. Not that anyone is going to take the correct message from this except us illuminati.