At first instance, Mr. Lombard and the former number 2 Louis-Pierre Wenès had been sentenced to one year in prison, including eight months suspended, and a fine of 15,000 euros.

The court had noted their “preeminent role” in the establishment of a “hard-line” downsizing policy over the period 2007-2008.

Until July 1, they will appear with four other former managers of the company, sanctioned them with four months in prison suspended and 5,000 euros fine at first instance, for complicity in moral harassment.

First company of the CAC 40 condemned for institutional “moral harassment”, France Telecom, which in the late 2000s became the symbol of suffering at work, had for its part not appealed the judgment which had sanctioned it with the maximum fine, 75,000 euros.

His ex-HRD Olivier Barberot, sentenced to one year in prison, including eight months suspended, and a fine of 15,000 euros, withdrew the appeal initially lodged.

All the defendants had also been ordered to jointly pay more than 3 million euros in damages to the civil parties, former employees and families of victims.

France Telecom, which became Orange in 2013, was therefore definitively found guilty, “but not its management”, quipped Tuesday before the press Me Jean-Paul Tessonnière in reference to the calls made by the six former leaders.

“We are going to interrogate them to find out why they would be the only innocent ones,” he added.

There is “probably a stubbornness of the six who maintain their logic of appeal” estimated Patrick Ackermann, of the South union, evoking “probably an increase in pain for the victims” with this new trial.

Asked by AFP, Mr. Lombard’s lawyer, Me Jean Veil, did not wish to speak.

For his part, Mr. Wenès “intends to challenge the judgment rendered (in the first instance) in all its components”, indicated his counsel, Me Sylvain Cornon.

– “A forced march” –

In its judgment of December 20, 2019, the criminal court insisted on the extent of the moral harassment which spread from the top to the whole group, noting that it had “targeted several tens of thousands” of people. .

He had also noted the absence of a direct link between the perpetrators and the victims, unlike classic moral harassment.

The court had examined in detail the cases of 39 employees: 19 had committed suicide, 12 had attempted to do so and eight had experienced an episode of depression or a work stoppage.

Among these victims, Michel Deparis, a Marseille technician who, on ending his life in July 2009, criticized in a letter “management by terror”. Two months later, a first complaint was filed by Sud.

During 2006, the management of France Telecom, privatized two years earlier, implemented a policy of massive deflation of the workforce targeting 22,000 departures and 10,000 transfers via two plans from 2007 to 2010, the period to which the trial relates.

At the hearing, the defendants had spoken of voluntary departures. A “simple display”, had estimated in its judgment the court, for which the management, alerted to the “inaccessible” nature of the objective of 22,000 departures, made the choice “of a forced march policy” using “prohibited” means.

Forced functional or geographical changes, pay cuts, repeated emails encouraging departure: MM. Lombard, Wenès and Barberot have drawn up, according to the first instance decision, “a company policy resulting from a concerted plan to degrade the working conditions of France Telecom agents in order to accelerate their final departures from the company”. .

https://www.lexpress.fr/actualites/1/societe/harcelement-moral-a-france-telecom-le-proces-en-appel-des-anciens-dirigeants-s-ouvre-a-paris_2173275.html

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