France: Renault bosses’ pressure leads to workers’ suicides

CGT demonstrators in Brussels

By Françoise Thull:

A third Renault worker commits suicide in France

1 March 2007

On February 20, the Versailles public prosecutor’s office opened an investigation “to check on the working conditions” of a Renault employee who, aged only 38, killed himself at his home four days earlier, leaving a suicide note referring to the pressures on the job.

The death came almost a year to the day after Carlos Ghosn, Renault’s new boss, launched the “Renault Contract 2009” revival plan.

It was the third suicide in four months of an employee working at the Technocentre Renault research centre at Guyancourt in the Yvelines department near Paris.

It occurred barely three weeks after a silent march by workers at the company in honour of the two employees who had previously taken their own lives (in October and January, respectively).

Since the announcement of the third death, spouses of workers at the Technocentre have contacted the unions fearing that their husbands might do the same.

The CGT (General Confederation of Labour) union representative Vincent Neveu reports: “Their husbands have similar characteristics to those of our colleagues who committed suicide: coming home from work after 10 p.m., the feeling of being overwhelmed by their work load.

One of the wives ended up bursting into tears. She had not dared tell her husband that she was contacting a union.”

7 thoughts on “France: Renault bosses’ pressure leads to workers’ suicides

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