France Telecom puts restructuring process on hold

Following a number of suicides by workers, France Telecom will delay its restructuring process until the end of 2009 while continuing conversations with unions over working conditions. "We will suspend all restructuring until Dec. 31, 2009," a company spokesman said in a statement.

This delay goes beyond the telco's initial announcement in September that it would hold off on any 'job reshuffling.' France Telecom will hold off on closing or combining any of its sites until it wraps up negotiations with local unions at the end of December. What has contributed to the ongoing employee discord is France Telecom's ongoing restructuring, a process that's cut over 22,000 positions in just the past three years.

Last Thursday, France Telecom reported that yet another employee--the 25th since last February--committed suicide. What's putting France Telecom's management under scrutiny is not necessarily the amount but rather the way these suicides were carried out. One employee, for example, committed suicide by jumping off a highway overpass in the Alps last month.

For more:
- Wall Street Journal has this article

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