Nokia Chennai Plant Employees May Announce

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CHENNAI: Employees of Nokia's manufacturing facility at Sriperumbudur near here are expected to convey their stand on the uncertainty over the future of the plant. Thousands of employees working at the Nokia India factory, considered as one of the biggest for the phone maker, are up against shifting of equipment to Asian countries by Finnish handset-maker Nokia, seeking job security in the wake of Nokia-Microsoft deal. On March 14, in a jolt to the employees, the Supreme Court ordered Nokia India to give 3,500 Crore as a guarantee before it transfers the plant to Microsoft. The apex court upheld the Delhi High Court verdict which is currently facing an income tax dispute.

Last week, the Tamil Nadu Government also slammed a 2,400 Crore notice to Nokia saying the company had been selling the products produced from Chennai plant to domestic market instead of shipping overseas.

Nokia management responded to the notice sent by Tamil Nadu Sales Tax department that it was a "baseless" claim by the department. In the current scenario, Nokia India Employees Union also were apprehensive on Nokia India management due to the steep decline in production at the plant there would be job cuts. According to Nokia India Employees Union Honorary President A Soundararajan, the Chennai plant that was producing about 10 lakh mobile handsets per day witnessed a steep decline and now stands at just four lakh handsets.

"Due to the decline in volume of mobile phone produced at the factory, we fear there may be job losses. We do not want that to happen," he told PTI. He said the meeting with Nokia India Chennai plant management and Union did not yield positive results and threatened that if there were no positive developments, the Union would not hesitate to "hit the streets" seeking their demand. Nokia India Employees Union, President, Saravana Kumar said, "We want our future to be secured. Most of the employees have been working since the plant commenced its operations. In the current scenario, our future is bleak." Asked on the next move, he said the Union would conduct a press conference in Chennai to convey their stand in the issue.

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Source: PTI
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