Thursday, July 7, 2016

Suicides at France Telecom leaders threatened with prosecution for harassment – The World

Le Monde | • Updated | By

In the France Telecom of Annecy-le-Vieux in  2009 following the suicide of an employee.

the meeting of the executive of France Telecom held at the House of chemistry, paris, October 20, 2006, was intended bluntly. Motivation operation troops as big companies can do. The objectives were clear and CEO Didier Lombard has taken no gloves to advertise.

Within three years, 22,000 employees will have left the company, 14,000 others have changed post. Or one in three. “It will be a bit more interventionist than before” , admitted Didier Lombard that day, but “I will [these departures] a way or another, through the window or the door. “ In return, 6000 people will be recruited.

on stage alongside the great leader, the Director of human resources (HRD), Olivier Barberot, opine. Next, the restructuring plan, and its social component Act, are ambitious, we must give ourselves the means

Read also:. France Telecom, the mechanics of the empty chair

the consequences of the implementation of the two programs were dramatic. Sixty people committed suicide in three years, thirty-five of which only for the years 2008 and 2009. In September 2009, the company’s unions filed complaints against the direction in which they denounced “methods of managing a extraordinary brutality “.

for four years, the former judge of instruction Pascal Gand peeled thousands of emails, decrypted PowerPoint, interviewed dozens of employees and managers. The investigation is completed and the floor has just taken requisitions. At the end of a document of 193 pages, signed on 22 June, the prosecutor of Paris is adamant in his seven former executives of France Télécom must be referred to a criminal court

Requisitions unpublished

If the investigating judge, who will make the order a few weeks, following the opinion of the parquet, Didier Lombard, former leader France Telecom (now Orange 2013), his former right-hand, Mr. Wenes, and one who was HRD, Olivier Barberot, would appear for “moral harassment”.

the same for France Télécom, corporation. Two territorial directors – Nathalie Boulanger and Jacques Moulin – and HRD France of the company, Guy-Patrick Cherouvrier, and the former director of the Program Act, Brigitte Bravin-Dumont should answer them, “mobbing complicity”

such requisitions. – “that are only a step instruction” , says M th Claudia Chemarin, counsel for the company are exceptional in France. It is still extremely rare, if not unprecedented, the most senior executives of a company, who were not directly responsible for employees, must respond to acts of “moral harassment” before court and provided to employees.

The CEO of France Telecom Didier Lombard  during his visit of the company offices after the  suicide of an employee in Annecy-Le-Vieux (Savoy)  on 28 September 2009.

For the prosecutor, he s ‘is mainly to judge a system, the politics of the empty chair. Those years, France Telecom, harassment was built in method. The executives were trained to discourage their teams, their bonuses depended on it. Each new start was the promise of increased premium end of the year.

The law in France is yet clear. Whoever “harasses another person by repeated acts whose object or effect a degradation of working conditions” is punishable by one year imprisonment and 15,000 euros fine, the article says 222-33-2 of the penal code. If evidence is provided that the acts were committed with the aim of degrading working conditions of one or more employees, the offense of moral harassment is made. Evidence, the prosecution believes plethora have.

Let’s be clear, justice does not blame the former leaders of France Telecom have wanted to reorganize the company to adapt to the digital era and the (almost) all mobile. “What is at stake is how [they] run this organization,” says the attorney.

During education, Didier Lombard and his team played much on words. They do not dispute the figures of 22,000 departures and 14,000 movements reported to the House of chemistry, but it was not “objective” just “estimates” , the “ trajectories” they said.

for the floor, “this denial is not serious.” Everything proves, on the contrary, “The goal of deflation and mobility has become an end in itself, irrespective of the means to get it.” But as “society has ignored alerts and warnings on the impact” changes, “did not evaluate psychosocial risks” that defense was “the only possible” Note the floor. How often, though, unions, labor inspection, the doctors they alerted the leaders of miserable work environment of the company?

“People on the Move “

the investigation file full of papers – Excel spreadsheets, PowerPoint presentations – and testimonies of employees who report chronicled the forced departures. “January 5, 2007, breakfast Codir (…) . HR (human resources). Reduction goal achieved somehow, “ scribbles, for example, in a notebook, P. Gervais, CFO

There is a memorandum addressed Nathalie Boulanger evoking the “decay 47 CDI [permanent contracts] assets (…) seven better than budget repérimétré (…) the annual target of 296 departures is reached to 74%. “ Jacques Moulin was kept at his home mountains of documents summarizing, ” for all directions (…) achieving or not downsizing objectives “.

The traces left by the immolation of an  employee of France Telecom-near his workplace in  Merignac (Gironde) on 26 April 2011.

How many leaders have been able to resist or protect their teams, while everyone was pushing the to follow suit? Their pay was pegged to the departures. And the management school of Cachan, specially created in 2005 and devoted entirely to the project, formed in “move people” , with “pressure everywhere.” More than 4000 executives followed the curriculum every year

The message is toxic past. the method worked. Gradually but surely, working conditions have deteriorated. Anything to crack staff. Affect mothers on a station two hours away from home, offer a framework significantly lower responsibilities to those he held previously. But also “forget” employees during a move, let a few weeks on an empty shelf, without a chair or desk, away from their former colleagues.

The situation seems ludicrous, but Etienne Vincent and the ‘have lived in Montrouge, in Hauts-de-Seine, like Guy, in Villeneuve d’Ascq (Nord). Every Friday night, everyone waited with fear that email which boast their again the benefits of a post to the general council or aid they might receive if they were embarking on beekeeping.

in his closing arguments, the prosecution said that the victims concerned could outnumber the few dozen people who have already manifested with justice: “These downgrades affected all employees of all group facilities where was sought or practiced destabilization of employees (…) conducive to accelerate deflation staffing and mobility. “

Of the 110 000 employees that were then France Telecom, ” there is necessarily very many unidentified victims, “ continues the magistrate . “This machine was massive destruction machine,” confirms M th John Paul Teissonnière, lawyer SUD-PTT union. In the event that a trial be held, hundreds of other employees could seek compensation for their injuries.


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