(Mirror Daily, United States) – France Telecom’s former CEO Didier Lombard will stand trial for workplace bullying a decade after one of his decisions to restructure the telecom giant coincided with a tidal wave of employee suicides.
Lombard who led the now-known-as Orange SA is accused of moral harassment. Six other executives are now facing similar charges. The union called CFE-CGC unveiled that the former executives have been indicted and they will stand trial next year.
Paris prosecutor’s office confirmed the news regarding Lombard and the other France Telecom executives. The office wouldn’t offer any details in the case.
Orange dismissed accusations that any of its former executives’ policies destabilized workers. The company promised to offer more details about its stance on the matter at an upcoming public hearing.
Orange’s current CEO Stephane Richard will not stand trial, but the person in charge of the company’s corporate and social responsibility, Brigitte Dumont, has been charged, according to CFE-CGC.
Lombard’s legal team has yet to reply to a request for comment.
Lombard’s Decisions Pushed Many Employees over the Brink
From 2008 through 2010, over 30 France Telecom workers killed themselves. Many of the employees were put under a lot of stress to make the company more competitive under Lombard’s direction. Workers developed psychological issues, CFE-CGC said at the time.
The restructuring plans were put on hold in 2009 and the CEO left the company in 2010. Since the union shielded employees from being fired, the company allegedly gave those workers high-stress positions to make them leave. Some of them committed suicide in return, according to the union.
One of the victims, a 32-year-old woman, committed suicide after telling her father via e-mail that she could not stand the restructuring at work. Another victim complained about “management by terror” in his suicide note.
Image Source: Wikimedia
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