France Telecom...workplace bullying, extraordinaire? And what is your reaction?

Guardian report of this month.

"The former chief executive of France Telecom has been placed under formal judicial investigation over workplace bullying after a spate of suicides at the phone company and its subsidiary Orange, in what could become a landmark criminal trial.

Didier Lombard stepped down as head of the company in 2010 amid criticism of his handling of the suicide crisis; about 35 staff killed themselves in 2008 and 2009.

Unions had blamed a culture of bullying that permeated the company and made a mockery of the slogan: "The future is bright, the future is Orange."

Harrowing details emerged of the mental anguish of staff who killed themselves, including one who set himself alight in front of his office in western France. Some workers left notes blaming unbearable work pressure, bullying and "management by terror" while scores of other staff, from senior technicians to staff who worked processing bills, were saved as they attempted to kill themselves. One worker was found unconscious after taking an overdose at her desk".


The brighter side of this case appears to ME to be... that its a bit more evidence of an ongoing 'fighting back', around the world, USA, UK & many other places - to recognize, protect and preserve personal rights and freedoms that have hitherto been disregarded (as they seem to have been very seriously in this company and remain so in many places).

Similar cases have been reported in UK, but none, I think, quite so *front-line* as this one must be.

Just interested in your thoughts..... <(^O^)> /"

Tell it to me, my OH and I are both social scientists with both feet in your list, specially the rights. What I have seen change since I left school and home in the 60s (before my OH had her first brithday at that) is sometimes shocking, but I guess in its way was inevitable.

Pathocracy, you mean the totalitarian type government where total political power is held by a psychopathic elite so that the effect on people is such that the whole society is ruled and motivated by only pathological values. Yes, get your gist...

Lots that is new, is my impression, Brian, but I could be wrong. At least, much that appears to be as new as the now extensive studies worldwide (?) in minority/ethnic/gender/etcetc rights?

That is such a tragic story, and sadly, as you say - not a rare one. Thank you for your comment, I'll be back to write a bit more, in a while. (Meanwhile, what do you think of the idea of 'pathocracy' ?)

So what is new? My OH left a UK university for the same reason and her colleague and good friend Professor Non Eleri Thomas (sister of rugby player Ieuan) threw herself off a cliff on 11 April this year. She had an institute she headed in the university, a growing reputation, a good marriage and two young children. But she was bullied and did not cope and took her own life. Look all over and you will find it. People faced with redundancy after being in one job since they left school or university who are just a little young for early retirement and probably too old for a new one. I think a lot of people in senior management positions should be investigated for similar behaviour. France Telecom has been exposed for it, please let other employers be exposed and the whole ethos of employee supervision by executives be forced to change once and for all.