France Telecom worker burns himself to death

26th April 2011, Comments 0 comments

A man working for France Telecom-Orange died after setting himself on fire on Tuesday, management said, the latest in a series of suicides to hit the national telephone company in recent years.

The 57-year-old set himself on fire in a car park at France Telecom premises near Bordeaux in southwestern France, a management source told AFP.

"We are stunned to learn of the death of an employee... who ended his life by setting himself alight this morning in the car park of the branch in Merignac" near Bordeaux, the source said.

"The emergency services who came to the scene could only witness the death of this 57-year-old employee," the source added, saying that senior managers were heading to the site immediately.

A wave of reported suicides in 2008 and 2009 sparked alarm at the company, France's traditional telephone service which employs 100,000 people and runs the major mobile provider Orange.

The deaths prompted questions about stress, management and the company's programme of job cuts, which began in 2004.

© 2011 AFP

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