3 Disneyland Paris Worker Suicides Investigated

by Alfie FEATHERSTONE on April 5, 2010

Disneyland Paris is being investigated after 2 employees have committed suicide within the last 2 months. The French union Force Ouvriere (FO) is conducting the investigation. In a statement, they criticized working conditions and pressure put on the employees, hinting that this is the cause of these deaths. The union requires that the group begin a safety and health inquiry to listen and communicate with its employees.

Last Friday, a chef in his 40s working at Disneyland Paris hung himself at his Marnela-Vallee home. The union says that the employee told other workers he wanted to quit since he had been struggling to meet the park’s demands.

Another suicide occurred on February 21, where a 30-year-old chef jumped in front of a train. The FO says that the worker was forced to work in humiliating conditions after a sick leave period. Prior to both of these incidents, a 22-year-old worker threatened to commit suicide in the park after being told he was fired.

Mary Lyn Lesueur, a representative for the FO, admitted that the union hasn’t established a concrete link between the working conditions at Disneyland and the workers’ suicides. She also admitted that personal problems may have also factored into the suicide of the 30-year-old chef. However, she added that it’s certain there is a real management problem at Disney.

Work-related deaths were a big issue last year in France after France Telecom was revealed to have been plagued by a number of suicides. At lest 44 France Telecom workers have killed themselves since 2008, which is being blamed on harsh management culture.

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