Nokia union says no to interim deal

Our Bureau Chennai | Updated on March 12, 2018 Published on March 27, 2014


‘Retrenchment, closure not acceptable’

Workers at Nokia India factory will either remain with the Finnish handset manufacturer or Microsoft Corp, which has acquired Nokia globally, but will not accept any interim arrangement, according to the Nokia India Thozhilalar Sangam, the workers’ union.

The Nokia India factory near Chennai is at the heart of a ₹21,000-crore income tax dispute between the company and the Government . This has stalled the transfer of the asset to Microsoft leaving over 8,000 workers at the factory in limbo. The Tamil Nadu Government has also slapped a sales tax claim of ₹2,400 crore on the company.

The workers will not accept retrenchment, closure, or the plant operating as a sub-contractor to Microsoft said A Soundararajan, General Secretary, Centre of Indian Trade Unions, Tamil Nadu, who heads the independent union.

In the last few months, production at the facility has been badly hit, and manufacturing has been diverted to Nokia’s plants at Vietnam and China. The factory has reduced its working hours from three shifts to two.

“The management has given enough indications that if the current situation continues, there could be retrenchment of employees. We will not allow this to happen at any cost,” Soundararajan told newspersons.

“The fate of nearly 25,000 people is at stake. We urge both the Centre and State governments to ensure that the employees are taken care of,” he said. The union urged the State government not to allow Nokia to cut jobs.

Of the 8,000 direct employees at the Nokia plant, nearly 60 per cent are women. “They have just started their career, and it would be disaster if they lose their jobs,” he said.

On March 31, the union will organise a one day demonstration in the city to highlight their problems.

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Published on March 27, 2014
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