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Joint consultation to begin in late April:
Will Nokia cut thousands of jobs in Finland?


Helsinki (24.03.2011 - Juhani Artto) Jorma Ollila, the Chairman of the mobile phone giant Nokia's board, announced on Wednesday that the company will begin representations in late April as part of the joint consultation process with personnel. The talks concern 16,000 employees in Finland and elsewhere but in Finland, especially, this has raised great fears of drastic job cuts. Experts and many others have speculated that thousands may lose their jobs, since the announcement of the overhaul of Nokia's strategy. Nokia will replace the Symbian operating system in its mobile phones with Microsoft's software.

On Wednesday Ollila tried to alleviate these fears by stating that nothing "particularly terrible" would happen as far as Finland was concerned. He also sought to reaffirm that product development will now be restructured globally, not only in Finland.

More than a month ago the salaried employees' trade union Pro demanded that Nokia pay proper compensation to all those who will lose their jobs. Antti Rinne, the President of the 130,000 rank and file member Pro, said that individual compensation sums should be around EUR100,000 in order to reach the same level that Nokia applied when serving notice on a large number of employees in Bochum, Germany back in 2008.

Last autumn Nokia paid out almost EUR5 million to its CEO Olli-Pekka Kallasvuo when he was sacked. And Stephen Elop, the new and current CEO, was welcomed to Nokia with an entry bonus of over EUR5 million.

When announcing the beginning of the joint consultations Ollila did not give any direct hint on the level of the dismissal compensation for the ordinary employees. Up to now Nokia's line in Finland has been skimpier than in Germany. In a piece published by Helsingin Sanomat ( Finland’s largest daily newspaper) Ollila promises that Nokia will assist people to find alternative employment after their dismissal.