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France Telecom and Former Managers on Trial Over Staff Suicides

  • Prosecutors say workers were stressed by successive overhauls
  • Orange says it’s spent 900 million euros on workplace welfare
Inside An Orange SA Mobile Phone Store Ahead Of First Half Earnings
Photographer: Balint Porneczi/Bloomberg

France’s biggest phone company, its former chief executive officer and six others go on trial Monday over a wave of employee suicides more than a decade ago.

Years of job cuts and restructuring at France Telecom stressed employees, with some eventually taking their own lives, according to prosecutors. Ex-CEO Didier Lombard, his then deputy Louis-Pierre Wenes and ex-human resources head Olivier Barberot are accused of psychological harassment in the workplace. Four others including Brigitte Dumont, now the company’s head of corporate and social responsibility, are charged with aiding and abetting the crime.