Following a hunger strike from Nokia’s Chennai-based factory’s employees, the management has offered a Voluntary Retirement Scheme (VRS) to them. The company says it is offering “a clear financial option for interested factory employees”.
After several tax disputes over Nokia’s Sriperumbudur plant by the Indian government, the Finnish giant slowed production from the plant and started focusing on its other factories. This sudden change left the employees at the infamous factory scared for their jobs.
“As a global company, Nokia regularly reviews its manufacturing strategy to optimize and ensure smooth and timely delivery of its products. This process considers many factors, including the predictability and stability of the regulatory environment in the countries where the company operates,” the company said in a statement.
Nokia says it took those reviews in consideration and decided to offer VRS to its employees. “Following such a review, we can confirm we have launched a voluntary package (VRS) at our Chennai, India facility,” it said.
The smartphone maker wants its staff to seek new opportunities outside the company. “As a responsible employer, Nokia is offering a clear financial option for interested factory employees,” it said.
While the company didn’t reveal what this scheme exactly has to offer, it says all the employees that come forward are entitled to a package. “All of [the] employees coming forward are entitled to the package. Nokia notes that staffing at Chennai has historically fluctuated based on demand and number of external employees used, with the current figure at some 6,600 full-time employees,” it said.
The company has downgraded production at its Chennai-based plant and has shifted focus to its Vietnam and China-based factories. “Production of phones like Asha range have already shifted to other countries and the plant which was operating in three shifts has come down to two shifts,” they said.