25th Suicide at France Telecom Since 2008

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France Telecom says an employee at its research and development center in the Brittany town of Lannion has committed suicide at his home - the 25th at the company in some 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 likely due to restructuring.

Company chief Didier Lombard was paying a visit to the Lannion operation after learning that a 48-year-old employee took his life Thursday at his home. The company said the employee had been out sick for a month.

Unions called for protests Oct. 20 to press for better work conditions. The former state-run company laid off some 22,000 people in 2006-2008.

The global economic slump has driven up suicides in other countries like Japan, which has one of the highest suicide rates in the world.

However, the weak economy and job losses are not the only contributor to suicides.

Take, for example, Greenland, which has the highest suicide rate in the world - 24 times higher than in the United States, according to Slate magazine. Suicide rates there increase during the summer, leading researchers to speculate that insomnia caused by incessant daylight may be to blame.

  • CBSNews

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