The future of Nokia’s Chennai-based plant is uncertain at the moment. The phone manufacturer, which is closing its buyout deal with Microsoft next month, is facing several tax disputes with Indian government over the Chennai based factory. Nokia has downsized the production at the infamous Sriperumbudur factory and has shifted focus towards its other plants located at other Asian countries. This sudden transition has left the factory’s employees insecure about their jobs. Workers of Nokia’s manufacturing facility are expected to convey their stance tomorrow.
Earlier in the month, Supreme court turned down Nokia’s appeal to overturn Delhi High Court’s decision in which the phone maker was asked to pay an additional amount of tax. While Nokia was yet to address this verdict, last week, the Tamil Nadu government fined Nokia a whopping sum of Rs 2,400 crores. Nokia found this claim “absurd”.
The factory suffered yet another blow when Nokia downsized its production from 10 lakh (1 million) handsets a day to just 4 lakhs. The change naturally hinted at job cuts. “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”, said A Soundararajan, Honorary President, Nokia India Employees Union.
Last week, the meeting between Nokia India Chennai plant management and the Union didn’t go well. Soundararajan said, if the Union doesn’t receive positive results, they won’t hesitate to “hit the street”.
Saravana Kumar, the President of Nokia India Employees reflected the same thoughts. “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.”