Nokia is looking to let go some of the employees from its Chennai-based factory. The factory did not become a part of the company’s acquisition deal with Microsoft. Nokia is now running the Chennai plant on a contract to Microsoft. The company told the union of the plant to trim “excess manpower”.
Over the last few months the company has downsized the production at the Sriperumbudur plant. It doesn’t need as many employees at the site anymore. Nokia India management has expressed its concern over the unnecessary operational cost. “The management told us there must be reduction in workforce. We have categorically dismissed the idea,” A Soundararajan, Honorary President of the Nokia India Employees Union told TOI.
Nokia is facing several tax disputes over the Chennai-based factory with the Indian government. The company dramatically decided to move its equipment from the Sriperumbudur factory to Vietnam and China. In the process, it also downsized the production, which made the employees scared for their jobs and future. After much criticism and protests from the union of the staff, Nokia India management offered a VRS scheme to everyone.
Soundararajan said today that the union has not accepted the separation scheme.”We have informed the Nokia management that none of the union members will accept the separation scheme. The management is upset with us for taking such a stand, but for us, job protection is paramount,” he said.
Nokia will be taking care of the plant for a year in a contract with Microsoft. However, this agreement is for just one year, and nobody knows what will happen once the contract expires. “Nobody knows what happens after one year. They have no answers. Employees are panic-stricken,” he said.
Soundararajan will be sitting down with the state government officials to find a solution for the employees. “We are exploring several options. One could be a government-mediated job assurance. It is still premature,” he said.