PARIS (Reuters) - French carmaker Renault (RENA.PA) on Friday announced steps to improve working conditions at its Technocentre engineering site after several suicides by employees there laid bare a workload problem.
French police started an investigation in late February after three separate suicides in several months. In February, a man's body was discovered at his house, with a note blaming work pressure for his action. In January, a worker drowned himself in a lake near the center and in October a third worker jumped from an office window and died.
Charged with spearheading the launch of 26 new models up to 2009, the Technocentre is on the frontline of the company's Commitment 2009 business plan that seeks to boost sales and profit.
On March 1, shortly after returning from Japan, Renault Chief Executive Carlos Ghosn ordered a review of working conditions and practices at the center.
Renault is appointing a director with responsibility for the daily management at the site at Guyancourt near Paris and is taking other steps to "facilitate dialogue and the support of colleagues," the car maker said in a statement.
Renault added that to deal with a peak of activity in 2007 and 2008, it would recruit 110 automotive specialists and use temporary resources to reinforce the engineering teams.