Week Does Work Kill In The Country Of 35-hour?
But a string of suicides at France Telecom has cast the limelight on a darker aspect of French corporate and business life, where high fraught and stress relations with management drive many workers into depression. Statistically, it isn’t clear whether the 24 suicides and 14 attempted suicides at the former state-owned giant these past 20 months are significant. But for Jean-Claude Delgenes, whose consultancy Technologia is advising France Telecom following the deaths, they are “a symptom of the wider air pollution” in French corporate and business culture. The combined group, which deals internationally as Orange, has gone through major restructuring as it opens up to competition, which unions say has left employees demoralised and stressed.
Yonnel Dervin, a 49-year-old telecoms specialist who survived after stabbing himself in the stomach in a meeting last month. As France shifts from a paternalist corporate and business culture to a versatile, market-driven one — symbolised by an invasion of US-style jargon such as “le deadline” or “le benchmarking” — employees are being still left by the roadside. Thomas Philippon, a French economist at New York’s Stern business school said, within an interview released this week.
An annual survey on the grade of worker-management relations in more than 50 countries, carried out by the Swiss business school IMD, rates France in the bottom five regularly. One reason for this, Delgenes argues, is that France’s system for recruiting managers, with a caste of business school graduates parachuted in near the top of companies — has led to a top-down, authoritarian management style. He cites the case of 1 French corporation, which got a canteen for mature management and another for common employees — a sure way to obtain friction in a country with a tradition of republican equality.
Add to this a deep mistrust between business leaders, unions and the French condition, dating to the cultural struggles of the 19th hundred years back again, and you have the substances for a corporate and business headache, Philippon argues. A TNS Sofres research released in the Nouvel Observateur journal this week demonstrated only one third of French employees feel well informed about goings-on at their company — in comparison to two thirds of Americans.
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Asked the way they experienced about their firm, 1 / 3 said “disappointed”, “suspicious” and “weary” — higher than in Germany or america. Most of the France Telecom suicides were lifelong civil servants struggling to adapt to a new market-orientated culture. But suicides also have strike other large French organizations, from carmakers Peugeot and Renault to energy giant Electricite de France, raising questions over whether bosses are generating their workers hard too. Week Despite a statutory 35-hour working, many French actually toil a lot longer with an hourly productivity that is one of the highest in the developed world, based on the OECD.
While repetitive stress injuries are on the drop in Britain and america, in France they have been multiplied by four in a decade. To make issues worse, high unemployment and rigid hiring and firing methods mean French employees are less inclined to leave an unsatisfied but safe job.
Officially, under five percent of most French suicides are work-related just. According to Delgenes, the real figure is a lot higher, especially at a time of economic crisis. Delgenes says France has a poor record on retraining people who lose their jobs in a lay-off plan. The annual rate of suicide at France Telecom, at 16 per 100,000 people, is approximately the same as the general French human population.
Looked at more carefully, however, it is not even half the rate of 40 per 100,000 found among 45- to 55-year-old men, who constitute the majority of the deaths. And yet a disproportionate amount wiped out themselves at their place of work or left letters blaming work for their despair, lately a father of two who jumped from a highway overpass the other day.
Bowing to pressure from open public opinion, France Telecom’s deputy leader Louis-Pierre Wenes, architect of the modernisation drive blamed for the suicides, on Monday resigned. This document is at the mercy of copyright. Aside from any fair dealing for the intended purpose of private study or research, no right part may be reproduced with no written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.