Helsinki (04.05.2003 - Juhani Artto) Nokia Networks, the
infrastructure arm of Nokia Plc, announced in April that it plans to cut 1,100
jobs in Finland. The reductions will occur in R&D, operations, sales, marketing
and support functions. The goal is to reduce costs, improve profitability and
strengthen the company’s position in the mobile infrastructure business.
Finnish Metalworkers Union President Erkki Vuorenmaa says that
the move demonstrates a mismatch between Nokia’s declared values and its
concrete behaviour. Vuorenmaa points out that the enterprise argument for
extensive job reductions and redundancies rests purely on improving
profitability, which means meeting shareholder expectations.
In the course of codetermination negotiations on the proposed
measure Vuorenmaa is calling for Nokia’s leadership to consider what is most
important to the enterprise: maintaining the highest possible profit margin or
retaining skilled and able employees in preparation for the coming high business
Vuorenmaa hopes that other electronic and metal industry
businesses will not follow Nokia’s example. He is grateful to enterprises
elsewhere in the sector for retaining their staff over the last two years even
at the cost of zero margins.
Vuorenmaa calls attention to the fact that in its own code of
conduct Nokia emphasises openness and transparency. He insists that Nokia should
now adhere to this code in the course of mandatory consultations on the job
reduction plan. Real consultation requires all necessary basic information to be
supplied to employee representatives at an early stage, Vuorenmaa observes. Such
an approach optimises placement planning. The union leader also points out that
even those who will now lose their jobs have provided a valuable contribution to
Nokia’s success story.