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France Telecom said an employee at its research and development centre in the Brittany town of Lannion killed himself at his home today – the 25th suicide at the company in 18 months.
The death comes two days after a France Telecom employee in Marseille was saved at the last minute from taking his life. Unions blame the suicides on stress linked to restructuring. Didier Lombard, the chief executive, paid a visit to the Lannion operation after learning of the latest death. The company said the 48-year-old employee had been off sick for a month.
Mr Morris said he believed Mr Patterson worked on tanks in the army. Neighbours said he was also a former technician for Telecom (now Telstra), who received a compensation payout about 15 years ago after a head injury.
Authorities have placed the former head of France Telecom Didier Lombard under formal investigation for harassment.
The probe relates to the suicides of over 30 employees in 2008 and 2009 when Mr Lombard was in charge.
The launching of a formal investigation is the last stage before charges are brought in the French legal system.
Mr Lombard wrote in Le Monde that restructuring at the company may have upset employees, but challenged the idea it caused the suicides.