Nokia’s continuing tussle with the Indian tax authorities has now finally started taking its toll on the workers at Nokia’s large Chennai plant, which employees more than 8000 workers.
In an article in the the HinduBusinessLine Nokia has announced a Voluntary Retirement Scheme for its workers which, according to Nokia, will allow them to leave and find alternate employment on a firm financial footing.
Nokia India recently indicated that manpower reduction would be likely at the plant due to uncertainty over continuing operations. The Income Tax Department had frozen the company’s assets last year over a tax dispute. The issue needs to be resolved soon to enable Nokia to transfer the same assets to Microsoft as part of a $7.4-billion global deal.
Nokia said it regularly reviews its manufacturing strategy to optimise and ensure the smooth and timely delivery of its products. This process considers many factors, including the predictability and stability of the regulatory environment in host countries. “Following such a review, we launched a VRS. Nokia is offering a clear financial option for interested factory employees. We feel this package offers staff the chance to seek new opportunities outside the company based on a firm financial footing,” the company said.
The Trade Union at the facility are apposing the news, but of course if Indian tax authorities make the location non-viable there is not much anyone can do.