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Quarter of France Telecom staff 'psychologically vulnerable'

Study shows morale collapse

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A quarter of staff at troubled telco France Telecom are on the verge of a nervous breakdown or worse according to a workforce study unveiled this week.

France Telecom began an investigation into its staff morale after a recent spate of worker suicides at the constantly resizing telco.

Unions at the firm said yesterday that the study showed that a quarter of the staff were "psychologically vulnerable", the FT reports.

Two-thirds of staff believe working conditions at the firm have deteriorated in recent years, and while 96 per cent of staff two years ago declared themselves "proud" to work for the firm, that figure has now slumped to 39 per cent.

Union leaders said the study vindicated their warnings about morale at the firm.

The firm saw 24 staff kill themselves in the two years to September. The suicides have been blamed in the main on a relentless restructuring programme at the firm, which has often involved shifting staff from one region to another.

In September, CEO Didier Lombard signed off a plan to try and ameliorate conditions for staff including a helpline, and an end to "personal and geographical mobility". Last month it put in place a plan to let staff who are nearing retirement work part-time. ®

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