Bad working conditions drive French workers to suicide

This is a video of the French trade union federation CGT at the Paris gay pride demonstration in 2005.

By Françoise Thull:

Further suicides in French workplaces

16 July 2007

A new series of suicides has hit French workplaces. The latest deaths follow a number of others which occurred in the space of a few months at the Renault Technocentre at Guyancourt in the Yvelines, a research centre for the French automobile maker (see “Suicides en série chez Renault”).

At Peugeot-Citroën (PSA) there were four suicides within the space of fifteen days in April and May in the same workshop at Mulhouse (Haut-Rhin), which employs 10,500 workers. The workers were all between 30 and 40 years old and were permanent employees. These suicides were preceded in February by another suicide at PSA in Charleville-Mézières, in the Ardennes. This worker cited intolerable working conditions in the letter he left behind.

These self-killings are not restricted to the automobile industry. An employee at a nuclear power plant in Chinon operated by EDF (French Electricity) committed suicide February 27, 2007. The death became the focus of a good deal of attention because the Social Security Tribunal of Tours was asked to rule in May on a law suit launched by the family of one of the dead man’s colleagues, a 49-year-old technician from the same power plant who took his life in August 2004. The February death brought the total of known suicides related to the Chinon location to six in three years.

No official statistics exist on the number of suicides linked to working conditions. Such deaths are only rarely classified as work accidents, even when they happen at the workplace. They are even less likely to be recorded when they occur away from the job.

Christian Larose, vice president of the CGT union’s social and economic council and co-author of a book entitled Violence at Work, has estimated that between 300 and 400 people a year (approximately one person a day) commit suicide for reasons linked to bad working conditions, a figure which he estimates to be on the increase.

Working conditions in Britain: here.

As European car market shrinks, Renault plans mass sackings: here.

Renault workers demonstrate: here.

4 thoughts on “Bad working conditions drive French workers to suicide

  1. Pingback: Thousands of Japanese workers killed by overwork | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  2. Pingback: Mercedes, Peugeot, pollution scandals as well | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  3. Pingback: Macron’s conflicts with French general, workers | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  4. Pingback: Privatisation kills French workers | Dear Kitty. Some blog

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