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Exit plan for Nokia's Chennai staff draws mixed response

Posted: 22 Apr 2014     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:Nokia  employees  Chennai  Microsoft  tax disputes 

Amidst tax disputes and after being sold to Microsoft, Finnish telecom company Nokia somehow managed to convince 736 trainees in its Chennai plant to accept the voluntary separation scheme, a report from Hindustan Times stated.

The management will extend the same offer to its 6,600 permanent employees. "We can confirm we have launched a VRS (voluntary retirement scheme) at our Chennai, India facility," a Nokia spokesperson said.

The move by the company, however, was met with opposition by the employees' union, which is set to stage a Japanese-style strike Monday. Some 5,200 employees plan to work during the break and waive their free lunch and snacks provided by the company as a sign of protest against the VRS scheme.

The union's next course of action will be determined depending on the management's response, according to Saravana Kumar, president of Nokia Employees Union.

Nokia is battling income tax and sales tax disputes with the central government and the Tamil Nadu government, respectively. This, along with Microsoft's acquisition of Nokia, has raised fears among workers that the VRS would be mandatory. The company, however, denied this and maintained that it was optional.

"We have set no target for the VRS in terms of the number of employees," Nokia's spokesperson said.

Across the shores, Nokia recently recalled 30,000 chargers for its Lumia 2520 tablet due to risk it could give users an electric shock. The AC-300 charger was sold in Austria, Britain, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Russia, Switzerland, and the United States.

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