Nokia is set to trim its staff considerably as part of its synergy and transformation programme.Pertti Porokari, the chairman of the Union of Professional Engineers in Finland, says he is shocked by yesterday's announcement that Nokia is about to shed a maximum of 1,300 jobs across its operations in Finland.

“It is indeed a shocking piece of news and a serious blow to employment. Approximately one-fifth of the almost 7,000 jobs at Nokia will disappear. Extraordinary measures will be needed to recover from this,” he states in a press release on the website of the Union of Professional Engineers.

Nokia announced on Wednesday that it has taken steps towards reducing its headcount worldwide as part of a synergy and transformation programme the objective of which is to deliver operating cost synergies of 900 million euros in connection with its acquisition of Alcatel-Lucent. The reductions will be largely introduced in business segments with overlap, such as research and development, regional and sales organisations, and corporate functions.

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The measures are an attempt to reinforce the position of the network equipment maker as an industry leader, says Rajeev Suri, the chief executive at Nokia.

Porokari, in turn, estimates that the measures draw attention to the real consequences of the acquisition. “It was a match between Finland and France. Finland lost. France was intent on protecting the jobs of French people, which it did. Judging by the outcome, Finland stood idly by during the match,” he slams.

He considers it obvious that such massive lay-offs will require extraordinary measures from both the network equipment maker and the central administration.

“You must take absolutely every measure possible to ensure people ensnared in the harsh transformation programme can find new jobs. I am afraid this blow will affect not only those being laid off but also those sticking around in the form of bigger workloads,” he states.

Jari Nummikoski, the chief shop steward for managerial employees, has similarly urged the network equipment maker to re-consider the reductions.

“Nokia's employees in Finland have 15 years of work experience on average: they are highly skilled in the information communications sector, they are committed to their work and their productivity is high in global comparison. Nokia can't afford to waste this expertise as it prepares for its new rise,” he says.

Aleksi Teivainen – HT
Photo: Antti Aimo-Koivisto – Lehtikuva
Source: Uusi Suomi