A decade after 35 employees took their own lives at France Telecom (now know as Orange) the telecoms giant and its former CEO go on trial Monday for “moral harassment”.
The case will look at what was behind the deaths that occurred between 2008 and 2009 when Didier Lombard was at the helm of the company, which is today known as Orange.
The trial opens at the Paris criminal court nearly seven years after Lombard and France Telecom were charged with harassment in what was a first in France.
Also in the dock are a handful of former senior executives accused of harassment and others facing charges of complicity in a trial which will likely be closely followed by business, unions and workforce experts.
Expected to last more than two months, it could result in a conviction for institutional psychological harassment.
Formerly a public company, France Telecom was privatised in 2004, a move which led to major restructuring and job losses.
Prosecutors say the company and its chief executive at the time introduced a policy of unsettling employees in order to induce them to quit.
Via France 24