Friday, 2 October 2009

The employees were treated like minced meat

A spate of suicides which claimed its 24th victim in 18 months led to wildcat strikes on Tuesday at a French telecommunication giant.The last France Telecom employee to kill himself was a father of two who according to reports that I’ve read jumped off a bridge on to a motorway. This disturbed and distressed worker left a letter for his wife saying that the atmosphere at work had driven him to end his life.
The victim was only 51 and was said to be ‘under pressure’ after moving from a job dealing with business clients to call centre which made cold call to offer services to subscribers. An official of the Catholic trades’ union federation said: “This is shameful. He was working in a call centre which was known to be insufferable. There was no interest in people as individuals, no humanity. They only cared about figures. The employees were treated like minced meat.”

France Telecom's new offices in Siene-Saint-Denis have been described an 'anti-suicide building' by Europe 1 radio. The eight-floor building, housing 31.000 m² of offices is designed to prevent staff from committing suicide, Sylvie Robin, a health and safety worker at France Telecom, said: "We have raised the height of walls to prevent employees from falling. The terraces will not be accessible for employees and they will not be able to open the windows. We're trying to make this building as secure as possible."

Sounds more like a prison than a place of work – hold on a minute what is the difference?
Whenever I go into central London on my pushbike and early in the morning; I often go buy London Bridge just to see city office workers in their hundreds stream past and into work; they always have the look of the rush-hour about them, like a column of cloned worker ants, the expressions on face’s often hide the treadmill recurring boredom, but the truth is they work to live, or is it that they live to work?

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