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France: Workplace stress adds to the gloom

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Mon Sep 21 2009

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Eight days ago, a 32-year-old France Tlcom worker died after throwing herself from the fifth-floor window of company premises in Paris following news of further corporate reorganisation.

The suicide, the 23rd among staff at the former phone monopoly in 18 months, triggered anguish about stress at work. Didier Lombard, the company's chairman, was summoned to a meeting with Employment Minister Xavier Darcos and efforts to provide psychological support to employees during restructuring were stepped up at companies across the land.

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The sense of workplace stress when you cross the threshold of a French office or factory doesn't seem notably greater than anywhere else in Europe in these difficult times. But in asides and emails, employees frequently complain about how over-loaded they are.

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