An infernal spiral

France Télécom serves as a painful reminder of the serious risks of organisational restructuring

Within the past two years, 25 France Télécom employees apparently chose suicide as a way to escape “the hell” of their company’s human resources management. One could ask: “Why are the media focusing now?” The direct relation between suicide and the pathogenic environment of a firm does not seem to be a new phenomenon: cases of work-related suicides were already reported by company doctors at the end of 90s. And the relevant literature reveals a lot of despairs in work from rural areas during the 19th century, mainly in the west part of France. Actually, if we accept the figures from France Télécom, there has not been an increase compared to previous years.

Bertrand Cabedoche

Bertrand Cabedoche is professor of information and communication at the Gresec University Stendhal Grenoble III, and UNESCO chairholder in international communication. He has been writing for 30 years about north-south relations as well as on the representations of the European Union in the main newspapers of the member states. Cabedoche is a member of the executive board of the European Communication Research and Education Association, ECREA.