Voluntary retirement deal offered to workers at Nokia’s Chennai plant

TE Raja Simhan Chennai | Updated on March 12, 2018 Published on April 10, 2014

Nokia India has offered a voluntary retirement scheme (VRS) to its employees in the manufacturing plant at Sriperumbudur. Details of the package are not available.

“It is not compulsory. Employees can decide to take it or not,” said a source in Nokia who does not want to be identified. “We have set no target for the VRS in terms of the number of employees. All of the employees coming forward are entitled to the package. Staffing at Chennai has historically fluctuated based on demand and the number of external employees used, with the current figure at some 6,600 full-time employees,” the company said. A Soundararajan, General Secretary, Centre of Indian Trade Unions, Tamil Nadu, under whose leadership the labour union Nokia India Thozilalar Sangam functions, told Business Line, “We oppose the VRS scheme. It is an indirect way to send people away. We will advise our members not to accept it. The management has taken this decision without consulting us.”

Nokia India recently indicated that manpower reduction would be likely at the plant due to uncertainty over continuing operations. The Income Tax Department had frozen the company’s assets last year over a tax dispute. The issue needs to be resolved soon to enable Nokia to transfer the same assets to Microsoft as part of a $7.4-billion global deal.

Nokia said it regularly reviews its manufacturing strategy to optimise and ensure the smooth and timely delivery of its products. This process considers many factors, including the predictability and stability of the regulatory environment in host countries. “Following such a review, we launched a VRS. Nokia is offering a clear financial option for interested factory employees. We feel this package offers staff the chance to seek new opportunities outside the company based on a firm financial footing,” the company said.

Published on April 10, 2014
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