It’s not for the food, and it’s not for the theater, and it’s not for the existentialism.
It’s for the work environment.
In the US bullied workers shoot their coworkers, while in france bosses are facing criminal charges over conditions that led to employee suicides:
In their blue blazers and tight haircuts, the aging men look uncomfortable in the courtroom dock. And for good reason: they are accused of harassing employees so relentlessly that workers ended up killing themselves.
The men — all former top executives at France’s giant telecom company — wanted to downsize the business by thousands of workers a decade ago. But they couldn’t fire most of them. The workers were state employees — employees for life — and therefore protected.
So the executives resolved to make life so unbearable that the workers would leave, prosecutors say. Instead, at least 35 employees — workers’ advocates say nearly double that number — committed suicide, feeling trapped, betrayed and despairing of ever finding new work in France’s immobile labor market.
Today the former top executives of France Télécom — once the national phone company, and now one of the nation’s biggest private enterprises, Orange — are on trial for “moral harassment.” It is the first time that French bosses, caught in the vise of France’s strict labor protections, have been prosecuted for systemic harassment that led to worker deaths.
“The company was going under and it didn’t even know it,” Mr. Lombard, the ex-chief executive, testified. “We could have gone about it much more gently if we hadn’t had the competition banging on our door.”
Unfortunately for Mr. Lombard, he was recorded saying in 2007 that he would reach the quota of layoffs “one way or another, by the window or by the door.” The window is what a number of the employees chose.
“This isn’t going to be lacework here,” Mr. Barberot said in 2007. “We’re going to put people in front of life’s realities.”
To the mounting signs of distress management turned a deaf ear, testimony at the trial suggested.
In the United States, those executives would have gotten a glowing profile in Entrepreneur magazine, and the workers would have ended up going postal.
Here is hoping that those bastards burn.