Nokia’s D&S division has changed hands to Microsoft, but the Chennai plant is left out of deal due to ongoing Nokia-IT department tax tussle. Nokia will run this plant for Microsoft under a service agreement. Nokia also plans to move production to friendly sites like Vietnam and there is fear of ultimate closure of this plant.
Nokia has offered VRS to staff in the plant and while the labour union approached labour authorities and has even written to CM of the state, none cared to help them. This and the uncertainty over the furture of plant, where production has already come down, made nearly 2000 workers to opt for VRS till now. Nokia has only shared that VRS package is available only till May 14. Sources claim that out of original 7000 employees only 1300 will be finally needed for the estimated future production volume of only 1.5 million handsets.
To trim its operations at the contract manufacturing factory, Nokia India had announced the VRS last month. In an email statement, a Nokia spokeswoman said, “All we can share right now is that the VRS package is being offered till May 14.”
Nokia India has been talking to its employees and urging them to take up the VRS, hinting that they might end up with nothing once the offer is closed, said the senior union members. They claim that the company has conveyed to them that they have order to make only 1.5 million handsets and that it would require only about 1,300 employees to sustain operations. The management has conveyed to the employees that there is no future for this facility anymore,” said another source.