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[Commentary] © 2002 Philip Hyde, The Timesizing Wire™, Box 622 Cambridge MA 02143 USA (617) 623-8080

Work-Related Suicides from January to June, 2002


6/09/2002  1 work-related suicide and a 2nd mentioned in passing -

6/04/2002  1 work-related suicide - 5/17/2002  1 work-related suicide - 4/28/2002  6-in-1 work-related suicides reported - we'll just count the one last year in our roll-up - 4/27/2002  1 work-prep related suicide - 4/20/2002  2 work-related suicides -
  1. Tennessee: Suicide in Tyson Foods case, AP via NYT, A13.
    One of six former Tyson Foods managers charged with participating in an immigrant smuggling scheme killed himself with his rifle, the police said. Investigators said Jimmy Rowland, 36, was found on Thursday with a gunshot wound in his chest. Mr. Rowland, a former manager at Tyson's Shelbyville plant, was indicted on Dec. 11 on federal charges of conspiring to smuggle illegal immigrants to work at company plants in 9 states. He was free on $100,000 bond and faced trial next February. The maximum possible sentence was 395 years in prison.
    [When worktime economics comes into its own, with a general understanding of the urgent need to run capitalism with a shortage of labor hours instead of a shortage of employment hours, people will realize how stupid it is to keep pouring in more desperate person-packaged labor hours when we already have so much too many.]

  2. Milan plane crash inquiry turns to suicide, by Daniel Williams, Washington Post via Bos Globe, A10.
    [We're going to take the Globe's version because it 'spits it out' better than the NYT version "Pilot's life and crash pose questions," A6.]
    MILAN - Italian officials doubt yesterday that the crash of a light aircraft into Milan's tallest skyscraper yesterday...the 32-story Pirelli building..\..was an accident, as was quickly presumed.... Two women in the building...died along with the pilot Luigi Fasulo, a native of Italy, when his plane hit the 25th floor, exploded, and collapsed walls and ceilings..\..
    Suicide for yet unclear motives became the major line of inquiry here and in Switzerland, where the pilot resided.... Said Transport Minister Pietro Lunardi, "The plane did everything wrong from beginning to end."... Morning rush hour crowds yesterday...wondered aloud how an experienced pilot could accidentally score a bull's-eye at the center of the structure's south side. "Maybe if he had scraped it, or even impacted a little off center [like the second plane that hit the WTC - ed.], you could believe it was an accident," said Guido Silvestri, a businessman.... "But this looks like a laser-guided hit." Said Mirella Guidoni, a homemaker, "...This is the best-known building in Milan, and it was directly hit."
    ...The investigation has has uncovered a series of anomalies.

4/13/2002  1 work-related suicide - 4/12/2002  2 work-related suicides -
  1. Japan: Thousands of workers protest, by James Brooke, NYT, A8.
    More than 13,000 Japanese workers marched through central Tokyo on Wednesday, protesting high unemployment and a lowering of wages through the conversion of full-time jobs into contract jobs. Kiyoshi Sasamori, president of the labor federation known as Rengo, charged Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi with political paralysis. "Kozumi has done absolutely nothing!" he shouted to the demonstrators. "Every day, over 10,000 people lose their jobs, 50 firms go bust and a hundred people are killing themselves in desperation."

  2. Milosevic ally shoots himself over law on Hague suspects - A protest against Belgrade's allowing extradition to the war crimes tribunal, by Ian Fisher, NYT, A6.
    WARSAW...- A former aide to Slobodan Milosevic shot himself in the head tonight outside Yugoslavia's Parliament in Belgrade in a defiant protest against a law passed only hours earlier clearing the way for him and other war crimes suspects to be sent to The Hague to stand trial at the international tribunal there.... "With this act," he wrote in 15-page letter released to reporters in Belgrade, "I express protest against all members of the puppet authorities." He went on [to] put the blame for his "death" on eight top politicians in Yugoslavia, including the president, Vojislav Kostunica and the prime minister of Serbia, Zoran Djindjic..\..
    The aide, Vlajko Stojiljkovic, was in critical condition and on a life support system tonight, hospital officials said....
    [Followup - "Milosevic associate dies of his wound," AP via 4/14/2002 Boston Globe, A12, states "Vlajko Stojiljkovic, 65...was indicted by the UN war crimes tribunal in The Hague, Netherlands. \He\ died in a hospital yesterday, two days after shooting himself in the head to protest passage of a law that would have allowed his arrest and extradition to the UN war crimes tribunal. [He] was Serbia's interior minister in charge of police under Milosevic." Hm, sounds like a great opportunity to commit war crimes. No wonder he offed himself!]

4/11/2002  1 work-related suicide - 4/05/2002  2 work-related suicides -
  1. Priest accused of abuse apparently kills himself, by Carol Biliczky & Andrea Misko, Knight Ridder via Boston Globe, A21.
    HINCKLEY TOWNSHIP, Ohio - Facing a meeting with church officials over allegations that he sexually abused a Wadsworth, Ohio resident 20 years ago, the Rev. Don A. Rooney pulled into a drugstore parking lot yesterday and, according to township police, shot himself in the head. Rooney, 48, of St. Anthony of Padua Catholic Church in Parma, Ohio, was dead on arrival at MetroHealth Medical Center in Cleveland. "I don't want to come off that the diocese is drawing conclusions. But you can kind of put two and two together," said Bob Tayek, spokesman for the Catholic Diocese of Cleveland.
    Just two days ago, Bishop Anthony Pilla told reporters that he was aware of at least one more incident of alleged sexual abuse by a priest in the Cleveland diocese. While Pilla did not name names, he already was aware of the allegation by an unidentified Wadsworth woman, Tayek said. Tayek said the woman called the Rev. John Murphy, the diocese's vicar for the clergy and religious, on Monday and told him she have been sexually abused by Rooney in 1980 when Rooney was a newly ordained associate pastor of Sacred Heart of Jesus in Wadsworth.
    Church officials tried to reach Rooney by phone on Monday and finally got in touch with him Tuesday. They asked him to come to a meeting at the diocese in downtown Cleveland on Wednesday morning, but didn't tell him the reason for the meeting. Rooney didn't show up for the meeting, and church officials couldn't reach him at the rectory or parish in Parma, Ohio. They notified Wadsworth police, Rooney relatives, and social service officials, and after consultations with them notified Parma police yesterday. Shortly afterward, they learned of the apparent suicide.
    [So despite church doctrine on the afterlife and hell and the sinfulness of suicide, this is one priest who seems to have believed that after death there is just nothing, nada, zilch, Nichts, zip, because otherwise he'd be dooming himself to permanent hellfire by kevorking himself for unbearable mental suffering and...considerable swirling embarrassment if not outright guilt.]

  2. Parents of ex-IBJ employee seek compensation over suicide, Kyodo News via AP-NY-04-04-02 0759EST via AOLNews.
    SAPPORO...- The parents of a female employee at the former Industrial Bank of Japan (IBJ) have filed a lawsuit at the Sapporo District Court to seek 98m yen in compensation from the bank, saying overwork and bullying at the office led their daughter to commit suicide, sources close to the case said Thursday.
    The employee joined the IBJ, now under the umbrella of Mizuho Holdings Inc., in 1991, and took charge of five fields, including foreign exchange and brokerage operations. But she began to experience headaches and dizziness in 1993 and took a leave of absence in May and June 1997. The suit said she faced bullying from her colleagues after returning to the office, and took leave again in November 1997 after being diagnosed with depressive psychosis. She hanged herself in September 1998.
    Her parents, who live in Sapporo, said in the suit that she committed suicide as a result of emotional strain from overwork and bullying and that the bank failed to ensure the health of its employees.
    [Timesizing would help a little to de-stress Roman Catholic clergymen in stories like the one above (what they really need is to drop celibacy and admit women to the priesthood), but it would directly help employees like the daughter described in this story from Japan. Why on God's good earth are we still working a 1940-level 40-hour workweek, let alone all the longer ones we're putting in, when we're surrounded by worksaving technology, and making ever more of it?!? And as for the objection that "technology creates more jobs than it destroys," tell that to the millions of rural Americans who left agriculture when it got mechanized by tractors and combine-harvesters and moved to the towns to get jobs in manufacturing, and then to the tens of millions of American factory workers who left manufacturing when it got robotized and moved to the cities to get jobs jobs in the service sector. And what are you going to say to the 100s of millions who are already starting to lose their jobs in the service sector, now it's getting computerized with automated internet reservations and sales (so long, travel agents and retail clerks), product scanning and self-serve cashiering at gas stations, supermarkets and banks (sayonara, cashiers and tellers), and desktop publishing and CAD-CAM (byebye printers, architects and designers). If anything, we today have more technology and less service. Even in the retail outlets that survive - the big box stores like Wal-Mart and Home Depot - it's impossible to get help finding something without walking miles. You can't blame it all on the 'giant sucking sound' of jobs fleeing America or on uncontrolled immigration. The root of our dysfunction is our abuse of technology for downsizing rather than timesizing.]

3/23/2002  1 work-related suicide - 3/16/2002  2 work-related suicide stories -
  1. Illinois: Seeking payment for suicide, by Daniel Dorfman, NYT, A12.
    The widow of a small-town mayor who took his own life has filed a worker's compensation claim, saying that job-related pressures led to his suicide. The widow, Lois Heisner, is asking for $658 a week, saying that her husband, Kirwan, committed suicide in September after negative publicity about a land acquisition.
    [Hooboy. A politician who can't take the heat merits "worker's comp" - heat that he may have brought on himself by abusing his position? What a stretch! And this guy was no rookie -]
    He had been mayor of Pinkneyville, a coal-mining town of 3,500 in southern Illinois, for seven years.
    [We think Lois should just get a job. How would Timesizing help this case? A shorter workweek would have chilled out the job pressures of the mayorship in the first place, and made a lot more attractive jobs available to Lois if the "first place" didn't work. Here's another situation that could have used some chilling out (but not the kind it got in the icy waters of the North Atlantic) -]

  2. EgyptAir pilot sought revenge by crashing, co-worker said, by Matthew Wald, NYT, A11.
    A former EgyptAir pilot [Hamdi Hanafi Taha] told American investigators two years ago that the co-pilot of EgyptAir 990 [Gamil al-Batouti] crashed the plane into the Atlantic Ocean to take revenge on a company executive [Hatem Rushdy] who had just demoted him [from the lucrative U.S. route for alleged sexual misconduct] and was riding as a passenger, a person involved in the investigation said today.
    [Well that only leaves the question, was he the co-pilot or just a passenger? This may be answered by the "just demoted"? Maybe the chief pilot was stupid enough to tell him in mid-air and he freaked.]
    American aviation investigators say they do not know whether the explanation given by the [former] pilot, which was first reported today in The Los Angeles Times, is true.
    [He sure suffered for opening his mouth - see below. How much evidence do they need - to overcome certain political pressures to hush up this explanation?]
    Since the crash of the Boeing 767, Egyptian officials have argued that there was no evidence that the co-pilot, Gamil al-Batouti, committed suicide...deliberately crash[ing] the plane into the Atlantic about 60 miles south of Nantucket, killing himself and all 216 others on board.
    The L.A. Times said it conducted nine hours of interviews with...Hamdi Hanafi Taha, who laid out the revenge motive.... Mr. Taha sought asylum in London a few months after the October 1999 crash, saying he feared persecution in Egypt because of his revelations about the state-owned airline....
    American investigators did confirm that Mr. Batouti had been told he was being taken off the route [dumb dumb dumb] and that Captain Rushdy was a passenger on the flight.
    [OOOkay. There are three pilots on this plane. The very first sentence was confusing - should have said, "to take revenge on a company executive who was riding as a passenger and had just demoted him." With those last two clauses in reverse order, it looked like the co-pilot was riding as a passenger (once demoted). So the real stupid one was Rushdy, the not-on-duty chief Boeing 767 pilot of EgyptAir who was riding as a passenger and opened his big mouth in midair to demote the on-duty co-pilot. But then, maybe the sexual misconduct had just happened right on that flight and Rushdy blurted out the demotion trying to stop it. That only leaves the question, how did Taha know - and the only answer is, they must have said something about it over the radio or cellphone and Taha was at the other end of the radio/cellphone, similar to people who heard from passengers on the 9/11 hijacked planes before they crashed.]
    "The thing that was clear was, he did it," said an American official involved in the investigation. "Why, I don't know that we'll ever know."...
    [Yeah, ri-i-ight.]
    Egyptian investigators might have been able to establish a motive but did not seek to do so, the official said....
    [So let's "out" all the crap that EgyptAir is trying to hide. If you ride EgyptAir, you're liable to get "hit upon" sexually by a crew member and another crew member travelling incognito is liable to step forward and demote the guy on the spot and the guy is liable to go back into the cockpit and crash you all. Ya know, is it just our imagination or are Muslims getting more than their share of "incidents" lately? Oh yeah, we forgot about the sexual misconduct of Roman Catholics in Massachusetts, Ireland, other states. Or maybe it's just their preferred "actions speak louder than words" method of birth control since they don't like abortion (understandably) but also don't like contraception (huh?!). Looks like castrati are "in" but no, it's open season on parish pre-pubertals or post-pubertal same-sex. And for that matter, we forgot the backward push of the religious right and "moral" majority in US politics and science education and reproductive rights. Then there was Jonestown.... God, this country's turning into a real disgrace to intelligence! As our old Hebrew professor used to say, "Laddies, there have been more heinous crimes committed in the name of religion than anything else." He used to tell us about the Babylonian fertility cults (musta been when there was still some fertility in the since-desertified "fertile crescent") and then he'd shake his head and say, "Laddies (ol' Bill Staples always called us "laddies," even with a few lassies sprinkled among us), religion was FUN in those days. It isn't any more." It's like religious people can't set limits in their own lives so they need a separate reality. And they're a little weak in the sense-of-humor dept. to boot.]

3/08/2002  1 economywide suicide story - 2/20/2002  1 work-related suicide - 1/26/2002  1 work-related suicide -

For earlier suicide stories, click on the desired date -

  • 2001.
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