6 Oct 2009

France Telecom exec resigns over suicides

10:23 am on 6 October 2009

A senior executive at France Telecom has resigned after weeks of criticism over the way he handled a spate of staff suicides.

Deputy chief executive Louis-Piere Wenes had faced calls to resign from employees who say management policies are responsible for a "spiral of death" at the company.

Unions blame 20 months of restructuring at France Telecom for some of the 24 suicides by employees.

The ABC reports a father of two jumped to his death from a motorway overpass last week, leaving a suicide note blaming the "atmosphere" at work.

The company has offered to set up a helpline offering counselling to existing staff as well as 22,000 people who were made redundant in the two years from 2006 - 2008.